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UNESCO Conference Says Biosphere Reserves Can Spur Climate Change Mitigation

BiosphereParticipants at the third World Congress of Biosphere Reserves, which took place from 4-9 February 2008, in Madrid, Spain, and was organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), have adopted the Madrid Declaration, which underlines that biosphere reserves can spur efforts “to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and to promote the greater use of renewable energy,” as well as to tackle challenges such as the loss of traditional knowledge and cultural diversity.

Conference

participants also adopted the Madrid Action Plan, mapping out the Man

and the Biosphere Programme's strategy and actions for 2008-2013, which

emphasizes the need to use biosphere reserves to demonstrate effective

responses to poverty, growing urbanization, climate change and

desertification. UNESCO's world network of biosphere reserves now

includes 531 reserves spread over 105 countries, following the addition

of the Rostowsky Biosphere Reserve in Russia and the Islas Marietas

Biosphere Reserve off Mexico's western coast. The Rostowsky reserve

provides a habitat for more than 460 species of plants, 30 species of

mammals and 200 species of birds, while the Islas Marietas is home to

many species of coral, the humpback whale and other mammals, birds and

fish. At each reserve listed in the network, local communities try to

enhance their socioeconomic development while promoting biodiversity

conservation.

 

UNESCO news release, 11 February 2008 | World Congress on Biosphere Reserves |