I think the most important benefit of living inside a biosphere reserve is that you, as residents and taxpayers, are given the opportunity to become stakeholders in the development and conservation of the area in which you live.
Stakeholders collaborate with decision-makers on shaping the future of their defined space in support of sustainable development practices.
Basically, supporting a biosphere reserve is about supporting healthy ecosystems and sustainable lifestyles. In the words of anther BR supporter: ‘BRs are living experiments helping the World to survive into the future.’
It is about social-environmental responsibility and actively taking care of our dwindling natural resources.
Some additional points:
- Biosphere reserves facilitate the pooling of expertise and knowledge that results in high-quality decision-making
- BRs act as a coordinating unit between different organizations, resulting in greater coordination amongst different initiatives
- The BR concept offers protection against unsuitable development, specifically in the core and buffer zones
- Greater opportunities for development initiatives in the future
- Co-management in the true sense of the word where communities have an equal say in management decisions
- BRs foster and promote better relationships with local inhabitants
Results of Multicase Biosphere Reserve Study
|Collective Ranking of List of Positive Elements|
|1||The biosphere reserve concept is a tool with which to facilitate collaborative management to the benefit of the region|
|2||The biosphere reserve provides a means to attract international funding to the region|
|3||The biosphere reserve creates an opportunity for communities to be involved in management decisions about the future of their area|
|4||The biosphere reserve creates international visibility for the area|
|5||The biosphere reserve creates awareness about sustainable development|
|6||A biosphere reserve is much different (in a positive way) to a traditional protected area such as a national park or nature reserve|
|7||The biosphere reserve has resulted in people becoming more aware of their interconnectedness to the natural environment|
|8||The biosphere reserve attracts more tourists/visitors|
|9||The biosphere reserve created more jobs in the area|
|10||The biosphere reserve has resulted in increased property values|
Ruida Stanvliet has been a passionate conservationist all her life. She has an M.Sc. in Botany and currently holds a scientific position with CapeNature in Stellenbosch. Working in landscape conservation, she has been involved with implementation aspects of the UNESCO MAB Programme for more than 15 years.