The MAB UNESCO Programme: balance between man and nature

The UNESCO “Man and the Biosphere” (MAB) Programme is an intergovernmental scientific programme established in 1971 that aims to lay the scientific foundations for improving the relationship between man and the environment. The MAB Programme combines the practical application of natural and social sciences, economics, and education to safeguard natural and anthropic ecosystems, by promoting the sustainable development of territories from an economic, social and environmental perspective.
Through the Man and the Biosphere Programme, UNESCO supports and enhances territories where communities pursue their development in harmony with nature, while protecting biodiversity. The MAB Programme seeks innovative approaches to economic development that are socially appropriate and environmentally sustainable. The MAB Programme is projected into the future, but actually acts in the present.

MAB UNESCO Programme objectives
Thanks to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the MAB Programme aims to:

  • identify, assess and mitigate changes in the biosphere resulting from human and natural activities and the effects of these changes on humans and the environment, particularly in the context of climate change;
  • study the dynamic interrelationships between natural ecosystems and socio-economic processes, particularly in relation to the accelerated loss of biological and cultural diversity affecting the ability of ecosystems to continue to provide essential services for human well-being;
  • ensuring basic human welfare and a liveable environment, in the context of rapid urbanisation and energy consumption, as drivers of environmental change;
  • promote the exchange and transfer of knowledge on environmental problems and solutions and foster environmental education for sustainable development.

The MAB Programme is identified by UNESCO as an ideal tool to pursue the Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.