A Russian and a Mexican reserve added to UNESCO MAB programme’s biosphere reserves

Published 11 February 08 12:31 PM

UNESCO 

The Rostowsky reserve (Russian Federation) and the Marietas Islands (Mexico) are joining UNESCO’s world network of biosphere reserves. This decision was approved by the Bureau of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme at the meeting being held from 4 to 9 February in Madrid.

The Bureau of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme took this decision after examining the additional information it had requested from the States concerned at its last meeting in September 2007 at UNESCO Headquarters. The network now counts 531 reserves, in 105 countries.

The Islas Marietas Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

The Islas Marietas Biosphere Reserve consists of an archipelago formed by two islands and two islets off the Western coast of Mexico. The Reserve is a rich convergence zone where marine species from the central and southern Mexican Pacific coexist with species from the Gulf of California and the Pacific coast of Baja California. An important site for scientific investigation, the Islas Marietas Biosphere Reserve is home to many species of coral and contains numerous caves and tunnels. The islands boast high biodiversity, including eight species of marine mammals, 94 bird species, and 115 species of fish. The area is critical to the reproductive processes of at-risk species like the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). The Islas Marietas do not contain any human settlements, but mainland coastal communities have traditionally fished in the area. Ecotourism, particularly snorkelling and kayaking, is now emerging as the Reserve’s most promising economic opportunity.

The Rostovsky Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation

The Rostovsky Biosphere Reserve is situated in the south-eastern part of the Rostov region, within the boundaries of the Kuma-Manych Depression and the spurs of the Salo-Manych Ridge. The reserve contains a variety of ecological systems which provide habitats for a vast number of plant and animal species, including more than 460 species of plants, more than 30 species of mammals and more than 219 species of birds. It is situated within the limits of the biggest flyway in Eurasia connecting the European part of Russia and Western Siberia with Northern and Eastern Africa, Middle East and Indochina. Besides conservation of biodiversity, the major task of the site is to improve the local population’s socio-economic conditions of life through the development of traditional forms of use of natural resources that are environmentally safe, such as the revival of steppe horse breeding and the development of sustainable land management and tourism. The biosphere reserve has a cooperation plan with the Chernyge Zemli Biosphere Reserve including for the zonation scheme.

Related links 

Contact information 
  • Lucía Iglesias Kuntz, Bureau of Public Information: Tel. +33 (0)6 74 39 84 41 (l.iglesias@unesco.org )

Author(s): Press Release N°2008-06 - Source: UNESCOPRESS -  Publication Date: 06-02-2008

© UNESCO 1995-2008 - ID: 41778

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