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Isle of Man hosts important UNESCO gathering

Friday, 22 March 2024

Visitors from the UNESCO UK network learned about the Isle of Man Biosphere this week.

UK MAB Committee standing in front of the RNLI 13-24 boat

The Island hosted the annual in-person meeting of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, which UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man is a member of.

Delegates from the UK National Commission for UNESCO, the UK committee chair and personnel from Biospheres and candidate Biospheres visited and learned about Biosphere projects.

These included Manx Wildlife Trust’s Hairpin Woodland Park project, which is supported by the Rotary Club of Douglas; the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s Agri-Environment Scheme, via a stop at Smeale Farm; nature and culture being nurtured at historic Milntown and the Biosphere Award-winning initiatives at Mountain View Innovation Centre.

The group also learned about the Island’s land and sea-based conservation work, and its sustainable fishery and marine protection at the lifeboat station on Ramsey Marine Nature Reserve. The 200th anniversary of the RNLI this year is an official UNESCO recognised project, so the stop there marked this.

Some of the delegation also enjoyed visitor attractions and a tour of Tynwald.

Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK, who met the visitors, said:

‘We are in climate and biodiversity emergencies. My Government is committed to help tackle these, and our UNESCO designation adds a layer of responsibility to that.

‘We believe our UNESCO designation is leading us down the route of better decision-making, and better understanding of what that looks like, although our learning grows all the time.

‘One of the great privileges and opportunities of being involved in the Biosphere ‘family’ is that of collaborating with, and learning from, other Biospheres and those at the UK National Commission for UNESCO, so it has been a privilege to host the UK MAB Committee.’

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