UNESCO Publication Highlights Role of Biosphere Reserves in Climate Policies

For Life, for the Future: Biosphere Reserves and Climate Change, A Collection of Good Practice Case StudiesJune 2011: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has released a publication that demonstrates, through a selection of 28 case studies from around the world, that UNESCO biosphere reserves are ideal places to test, evaluate and implement comprehensive climate change policies.

The publication, titled "For life, for the future - Biosphere reserves and climate change, a collection of good practice case studies," underlines that while climate change is the dominant challenge to sustainable development, it is not the only challenge. It underscores that none of the other well-known challenges to sustainability has disappeared, including poverty, malnutrition, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions, demographic change, desertification, water scarcity, urbanization, an altered nitrogen cycle, pollution, etc., and argues that any isolated policy implementation focusing only on climate change "is likely to do more harm than good." One of the report's main messages is that UNESCO biosphere reserves around the globe can be suitable places for testing or implementing new, comprehensive policies on climate change mitigation and adaptation, once all other variables need to be included into the equation.

The publication will be presented at an international high-level conference on “For life, for the future: Biosphere reserves and climate change," which will take place from 27 -28 June 2011, in Dresden, Germany. The conference will demonstrate how more than 560 biosphere reserves in over 100 countries, beyond conserving biodiversity, can contribute to implementing strategies in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The conference held on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of UNESCO's “Man and the Biosphere“ (MAB) programme is organized by UNESCO-MAB, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and the German Commission for UNESCO. [Publication: For Life, For the Future: Biosphere Reserves and Climate Change, A Collection of Good Practice Case Studies]