23-06-2019 by redazione
The Arabuko-Sokoke forest, which extends between the hinterland of Malindi and that of Watamu and Kilifi, has been included in the biosphere reserves to be protected by UNESCO.
The UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme has added 18 new sites in 12 countries of the world to the international network of biosphere reserves, which currently has 701 biosphere reserves in 124 countries of the world.
The UNESCO International Coordinating Council for the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC), which met in Paris from 17 to 21 June, approved these additions and the extension of eight existing biosphere reserves, which in most cases also led to a change in their official name.
"This is great news and a clear recognition of the wonderful wildlife and communities that care for the area - commented Justin Kitsao, environmentalist and chairman of the Watamu Marine Association - The report of the UNESCO MAB Council stressed that the MWASF biosphere reserve will be a significant example for other Kenyan reserves. This is a great honour and a great responsibility for us.
UNESCO's biosphere reserves seek to reconcile human activity with the conservation of biodiversity through the sustainable use of natural resources. This reflects UNESCO's key objective of promoting innovative sustainable development practices and combating biodiversity loss by accompanying communities and Member States in their work to understand, appreciate and safeguard the living environment of our planet.
"Every UNESCO biosphere reserve is an open-air laboratory for sustainable development, for concrete and lasting solutions, for innovation and good practices - said the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay - symbolize a new alliance between the world of science and youth, between man and the environment".
This is the reason for the inclusion of the Arabuko-Sokoke forest: "The area of the biosphere reserve rises to 487,278 hectares and now includes two marine parks and the Arabuko Sokoke forest. The extension improves connectivity between the various ecosystems, ranging from the coral reef to mangrove forest and dry coastal forest. The biosphere reserve is a migration area for cetaceans and is home to six types of endemic butterflies.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
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