The World Network for Mountain Biosphere Reserves kicks off

May 16, 2022

Mountain areas are rich in culture, biodiversity, endemism and multiple ecosystem services, they play a crucial life-supporting role in the water cycle, host 15 % of the global population and are highly threatened by climate change. Of the 727 biosphere reserves in the world, 474 are located in mountain areas and the World Network for Mountain Biosphere Reserves (WNMBR) aims to bring them together to better address their specific needs and challenges.

Officially launched in December 2021, by UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme, with the support of the Mountain Research Initiative, the network held its first meeting on 12 May 2022 to share its action plan for the upcoming years.

The WNMBR will focus on creating research opportunities and supporting knowledge exchanges on environmental and social issues relevant to mountain biosphere reserves. It will also enhance the exchange of information and stimulate collaborative work and partnerships involving all actors working in these areas.

The WNMBR’s Secretariat, co-managed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Spanish Mountain Biosphere Reserve of Valles de Omaña y Luna, will work on consolidating the network. Tools for internal communication will be set up to encourage the exchange of knowledge between mountain biosphere reserves. External communication will also be encouraged to increase the awareness on the importance to preserve mountain biosphere reserves. For that, they are designing a website, which will see the light during the summer 2022:

In the next few months, the World Network for Mountain Biosphere Reserve will organise several events in the framework of the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development to contribute to global efforts for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation in mountainous biosphere reserves. The WNMBR also plans to organise the first congress of Mountain Biosphere Reserves, but for the spring of 2023.

Access to event materials:

  • Audios recordings (EN, ES, FR, ZH) + Presentations + Agenda + Chat, here.
  • Video recordings in EN and ES, here.
  • Video recordings in FR and ZH, here.

During March and April 2022, MOVING H2020 project carried out a survey among its 23 mountain Reference Regions (MRR) in order to identify the presence of different protected natural sites on them. The results aim at providing informative insights on the added value and development implications of these areas for the mountain regions and their selected value chains. The results are being analysed and will be published shortly.