World Network of Island and Coastal
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Over the past months the World Islands and Coastal Biosphere Reserve Network (WNICBR) has incorporated five new biosphere reserve territories from Australia, USA, Vietnam, Canada and Colombia. With these new members, the network continues to grow and there are already 65 formally adhered BRs.
 

The World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves expands with five new members

ImatgeOver the past months the World Islands and Coastal Biosphere Reserve Network (WNICBR) has incorporated five new biosphere reserve territories from Australia, USA, Vietnam, Canada and Colombia. With these new members, the network continues to grow and there are already 65 formally adhered BRs.

The new members are:

Great Sandy (Australia) 1,242,216 ha
Located in southeast Queensland. UNESCO declared it a biosphere reserve in 2009 and is known for the "Great Sandy Strait", a large estuary on the Ramsar International List of Wetlands, and the Fraser Island, a World Heritage Site. The reserve incorporates the largest sand island and coastal sand mass in the world.

Cascade Head (USA) 41,323 ha
Located on the Oregon Coast and originally designated in 1976, the biosphere reserve was expanded and reauthorized in 2017. It consists of rare and diverse ecosystems, including the Salmon River and its estuary, a sandy littoral spit, densely forested uplands, a two mile basalt headland covered in native coastal prairie, and a marine reserve stretching west into the waters of the Pacific.  

Cu Lao Cham-Hoi An (Vietnam) 33,475 ha
Located in the central part of Viet Nam, the BR includes core zone (Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area), buffer zone (mangrove forest in the Thu Bon river estuary and wetland surrouding the city) and transition zone (Hoi An ancient town - the Cultural heritage site): The archipelago is renowned for its marine species including fishes, corals, mollusks, crustaceans, and seaweed. The islands contain mountainous areas and rainforest ecosystems strongly influenced by seasonal monsoons. The Cultural World Heritage Site of Hoi An is an ancient trading port bearing witness to the fusion of Vietnamese and European cultures.

Georgian Bay (Canada) 347,269 ha
The Georgian Bay BR, declared in 2004, comprises the largest island archipelago in the Great Lakes of North America. It has a complex topography with numerous islands, coves, fjords and rivers. Forest, wetlands and rocky habitats host a high level of biodiversity that includes more than 100 species of animals and plants that are considered threatened in Canada or Ontario.

Seaflower (Colombia) has 18,000,000 ha
The reserve is located in the Western Caribbean and comprises the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. It is home to representative ecosystems of the tropical island regions, such as extensive coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangroves, beaches, open sea and tropical dry forests, with a high presence of endemisms.


Islands and coastal biosphere reserves are sensitive areas due to their high level of biodiversity, and the large number of endemic species and fragile ecosystems. They are highly vulnerable to climate change and at the same time have great potential for monitoring changes and can serve as models for sustainable development policies. The World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves, of which Jeju (Rep. Korea) and Menorca (Spain) are the technical secretariats, was created in 2009 with the aim of serving as a forum for cooperation and knowledge transfer between distant territories facing common challenges.

See the updated map of BR members of the Network.
 

 
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World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves The World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves was launched in 2009 by UNESCO MAB Programme to foster sustainable development in islands and coastal areas and to promote adaptation and mitigation strategies on climate change. ABOUT
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