Mountains represent almost a quarter of the planet’s surface and they harbour rich biodiversity and unique cultures that must be preserved.
The ecosystem services that mountains provide are essential for the environment and people alike. They minimize the occurrence of extreme climatic events, protect us from natural risks and regulate the quality of air and water.
However, mountain ecosystems are also fragile, and they are currently facing challenges such as climate change, the loss of rare and endangered species and depopulation – all of which affects the socioeconomic background and way of living of people.
That’s why on the International Mountain Day, the 9th December, 2021, a virtual seminar of Sustainable Tourism in Mountain Biospheres was celebrated. It was organized by the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere programme (MaB) and the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) and it announced the official launch of the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves (WNMBR).
The MAB Bureau unanimously approved the nominations of the Valles de Omaña y Luna Biosphere Reserve (Spain) and the Research Centre for Eco-environmental Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) to coordinate, together with the MaB Secretariat, the technical secretariat of the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves.
The WNMBR promotes the use of biosphere reserves as laboratories for sustainability. Moreover, it will enable the creation of partnerships and knowledge exchange between all actors working in mountain biosphere reserves, mainly biosphere reserve managers and coordinators, mountain specialists, scientists from universities and research centres, local communities, UN agencies and programmes, and non-governmental organisations.
You can find more information here.
Find out more about the Omaña and Luna Valleys Biosphere Reserve in this presentation.