Biosphere Reserves: Special Places for People and Nature
Examples from different regions of the world are used to illustrate some dimensions of the primary conservation function of biosphere reserves, in addressing some of the key challenges in present-day conservation: consolidating important sites for ecosystem conservation; setting conservation priorities; towards multiple conservation units at the bioregional scale; conservation along a major river course; inventoring the flora and fauna; identifying threatened and endangered species; conserving the wild relatives of an important crop species; putting social and economic values on ecosystem services; responding to technological accidents and natural hazards; biodiversity inventory plots. Using biosphere reserves to conserve cultural diversity as well asbiological diversity is an explicit aim of Goal 1 of the Seville Strategy for Biosphere Reserves, which provides the overall framework for the development and improvement of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and its constituent sites (currently 408 in 94 countries). In this vein, the second part of the Conserving Diversity chapter addresses cultural diversity and cultural values, including indigenous peoples and biosphere reserves, ethno-ecological interactions, and spiritual and sacred aspectsof biosphere reserves.
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