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The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Program in Australia: Constraints and opportunities for localized sustainable development


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Matysek, K, Stratford, E ORCID: 0000-0001-6273-493X and Kriwoken, L 2006 , 'The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Program in Australia: Constraints and opportunities for localized sustainable development' , The Canadian Geographer, vol. 50, no. 1 , pp. 86-100 , doi: 10.1111/j.0008-3658.2006.00128.x.

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Since their creation under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program between 1968 and 1971, Biosphere Reserves have provided an international framework for linking protected areas with their associated working landscapes. In Australia, twelve biosphere reserves were added to the World Network between 1977 and 1982. That initial flurry of activity has been followed by twenty-five years of limited interest and development in the reservation process in this country, although evidence suggests new energies are being directed to it. After sketching the origins of the Biosphere Reserve concept and its central tenets, we explore those environmental, cultural and institutional factors that may be promoting renewed interest in the Program. We then review the initial implementation and current status of the Australian Biosphere Reserve Program. Factors perpetuating the limited success of the program in Australia are highlighted and the new form of biosphere reserve is illustrated with reference to Australia's most recent, and only urban biosphere reserve, at the Mornington Peninsula, in the state of Victoria. We speculate that prospects for biosphere reserves in Australia are brighter because of the covenant for biosphere reserves under the Commonwealth of Australia's Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999); the conceptual relevance of the biosphere reserve to bioregional and catchment management more generally; and the continued success of existing model biosphere reserves.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Matysek, K and Stratford, E and Kriwoken, L
Keywords: Australian Biosphere Reserve Program; bioregional management; implementation impediments; urban environments; Mornington Peninsula, Western Port Biosphere Reserve.
Journal or Publication Title: The Canadian Geographer
ISSN: 0008-3658
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/j.0008-3658.2006.00128.x
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