In June 2011, UNESCO marked the 40th anniversary of its Man and the Biosphere Program with the conference "For Life, for the Future: Biosphere Reserves and Climate Change".
The MAB Program explores ways of sustainably using our environment, encompassing a global network of over 560 representative model regions for sustainable development in more than 100 countries – UNESCO biosphere reserves.
The conference focussed on the need to use biosphere reserves as strategic instruments for implementing effective climate change policies and strategies for mitigation and adaptation. For example, biosphere reserves offer important practical experience in fields relevant to climate change, including sustainable agriculture, forestry, regional economics, tourism, spatial planning, participation of local communities and international partnerships.
A key outcome of the conference was the Dresden Declaration, in which conference participants called for governments worldwide to combine climate change mitigation with the fight against poverty and the conservation of biological diversity. The declaration was adopted by UNESCO in November 2011.
© Mornington Peninsula & Western Port Biosphere Reserve Foundation Ltd 2012