Premiere: Lower Prut reservations joins UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme has added 24 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves during its meeting in Palembang (Indonesia) from 23 to 28 July. The MAB network now numbers 686 Biosphere Reserves.

“Conserving the biodiversity and the management of natural resources in these ecosystems is a pre-requisite for sustainable development,” declared UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “These sites are laboratories of harmonious interaction between people and nature, allowing for advances in the sciences and in traditional knowledge. They facilitate the sharing of knowledge, promote the interaction between science and society and help bring concrete improvements to the lives of local populations,” she added.

Biosphere reserve has been designated in Moldova for the first time this year.

Biosphere reserves are sites destined to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity and human activity through the sustainable use of natural resources. One of their objective is to give rise to innovative sustainable development practices. New reserves are designated every year by the International Co-ordinating Council for the programme, a body with a rotating elected membership of 34 UNESCO Member States. Established by UNESCO in the early 1970s, the Man and the Biosphere Programme is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to improve relations between people and their natural environment.

Lower Prut (Republic of Moldova) is located in the south of the country, this biosphere reserve encompasses the Prut River and floodplain lakes. Two-thirds of the surface of the area is occupied by Lake Beleu. A wetland area extends along the Prut River, covering a mosaic of water, meadow and forest ecosystems. The main economic activity is agriculture, which provides 90% of the inhabitant’s income.