In order to become a UNESCO designated reserve, the nation must adhere to strict guidelines that combine strategies of resource management, conservation, and sustainability.
Biosphere reserves are sites established by countries and recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science.
In response to the call for champions in support of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Republic of Maldives has pledged to become the first nation where the entire country and its Exclusive Economic Zone will be a Biosphere Reserve.
The Biosphere Reserve’s strategy must integrate the management of natural resources with conservation and sustainable use. The plan also must seek to ensure equitable distribution of natural resource wealth. Currently, there are 610 biosphere reserves in 117 countries.
The whole country of Maldives will be a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by 2017 – where public support for conservation of the country’s remarkable environment secures a vibrant green economy and a good quality of life for all Maldivians.
Dr Mariyam Shakeela, Minister of Environment and Energy, Republic of Maldives.