West-Estonian archipelago biosphere reserve

The programme Man and Biosphere (MAB) was launched by UNESCO in 1971 as a long-term intergovernmental co-operation programme. With its research, monitoring and training activities and pilot projects, the programme has been aimed from the beginning at achieving and maintaining a balance between nature conservation and the development of human society. Biosphere reserves where it would be possible to test the application of sustainable development principles and to learn from such experiences have been designated within the MAB Programme as of 1976. 

In Estonia, the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, which is used to implement the MAB Programme, was established by a regulation of the Government of the Estonian SSR in 1989 and in 1990 UNESCO recognised it as a MAB Programme Area. The Biosphere Reserve Statutes of 1994 provided its main function as follows: “Conservation of ecosystems by applying sustainable and conservative use of the natural environment and natural resources and by relying on scientific research and innovation in the field of nature conservation, environmental monitoring, regional planning and training”. More information about West-Estonian archipelago biosphere reserve can be found here. The contact person is Lia Rosenberg lia.rosenberg@keskkonnaamet.ee