A Biosphere Reserve is an ecosystem with plants and animals of unusual scientific and natural interest. It is a title given by UNESCO to help protect the sites. The plan is to promote management, research and education in ecosystem conservation. This includes the 'sustainable use of natural resources'. If, for example, fish or trees are taken for human use, this is done in ways which least damage the ecosystem.
The program is run by UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme. It has started a World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The MAB programme built up the World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 1971. Biosphere reserves exchange knowledge and experiences on new ideas for sustainable development. Biosphere reserves are areas that are used to develop new ways of doing things, test these ways and share the results. The aim is to get a balanced relationship between mankind and nature.
- UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, retrieved 1 July 2011