UNESCO selects 13 new biosphere reserves, 2 in Ethiopia


Addis Ababa, (ENA) – The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program has added 13 new sites and five extensions in 15 different countries to the World Network of Biosphere reserves (WNBR).

In a press statement sent to ENA on Friday UNESCO said two of the sites, Kafa and Yayu, are in Ethiopia.

The other sites are found in Iran, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovenia and Sweden.

The statement said the number of biosphere reserve sites including the newly added ones, reached 564 in 109 countries.

According to the statement, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe inscribed reserves for the first time this year.

Sweden and the United Kingdom for their part decided to withdraw two sites from the WNBR, because they do not meet the criteria, the statement said.

Biosphere reserves are areas designated under UNESCO’s MAB program to serve as places to test different approaches to integrated management of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine resources and biodiversity.

Biosphere reserves are thus sites for experimenting with and learning about sustainable development, the statement said.