In 2022, during the 41st Session of UNESCO’s General Conference, it was established that November 3 would be observed globally as the International Day for Biosphere Reserves.
Biosphere reserves serve as protected areas designed for the conservation of plant and animal life. These areas are essential not only for the preservation of biodiversity but also for sustaining human livelihoods.
The decision to celebrate November 3 as the International Day for Biosphere Reserves aims to emphasize and promote the activities within these reserves, aiming to achieve a harmonious balance between sustainable development and the preservation of nature.
This day is significant because it underscores the growing urgency of addressing environmental issues as we face escalating threats to our planet.
It calls for a fundamental reevaluation of our relationship with nature and other living beings in order to address these critical challenges and create a shared world.
Biosphere reserves have demonstrated the feasibility of coexisting with nature while establishing a sustainable and harmonious relationship.
The International Day for Biosphere Reserves encourages drawing inspiration from the successful solutions implemented in these areas to foster genuine sustainable development globally while respecting the environment and the living world.
For over half a century, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program has led a global effort to rethink the connections between humanity and the planet.
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The core idea is simple: to improve our relationship with nature, we must first enhance our understanding of how we impact the living world that sustains us, and vice versa.
This endeavor unfolds daily at 748 sites across 134 countries worldwide, known as the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Biosphere reserves are not typical protected areas; they are locations where more than 275 million people reside and work.
These reserves exist wherever human interaction with nature takes place, spanning diverse environments from urban areas to savannahs, mountaintops to mangroves, and ranging in size from small island communities to vast ecological corridors spanning continents.
Within these biosphere reserves, people redefine their relationship with the environment in tangible ways by considering biodiversity conservation and sustainable development as compatible and mutually interdependent goals.
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On November 3, UNESCO proudly celebrates the International Day for Biosphere Reserves to recognize the crucial role that biosphere reserves play for all of humanity.
On this day, the diversity of these sites, their resilience, the knowledge they generate, and the example they set are celebrated.
This includes their contributions to the green economy and the utilization of renewable energy sources. This day marks the potential of biosphere reserves to address the pressing challenge of our era: reconciling human activities with the natural world.
Biosphere reserves have much to offer in this regard, and the rapid expansion of the world network, with the addition of 21 new reserves in the past two years, signifies the increasing recognition that our future depends on aligning our lifestyles with greater respect for nature.
Young people, especially those involved in the global Man and Biosphere Youth Network, are instrumental in harnessing the potential of these reserves. Additionally, many indigenous peoples residing in these areas possess invaluable knowledge of the Earth.
To those who have not yet had the opportunity to visit a biosphere reserve, an invitation is extended to do so.
You will encounter truly remarkable places, not only because they host natural wonders but also because they are home to extraordinary individuals. TDI wishes everyone a joyful International Day for Biosphere Reserves.