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Mont Saint-Hilaire Biosphere Reserve

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What is a Biosphere Reserve?

  • A typical village in southern France, with stone houses on wooded hillsides
  • White house with green shutters next to a canal in the summer, with a rowboat and a little bridge spanning the canal
  • Five smiling people in front of a stone house, and a man and a woman carrying traditional dishes
  • Three birds next to a body of water
  • Turquoise river forming a bend through scrub-covered hills
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Photo: Public domain -- Place: Luberon Lur, France

Photo: Carl Peteroff -- Place: Marais Audomarois, France

Photo: UNESCO Aect Zasnet -- Place: Meseta iberica, Espagne-Portugal

Photo: UNESCO Vytautas Knyva -- Place: Zubintas, Lituanie

Photo: UNESCO-SMGG Guilhem Mollera -- Place: Gorges du Gardon, France

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What is a Biosphere Reserve?

Biosphere Reserves are inhabited areas where various partners work together to preserve the local natural and cultural resources while promoting economic growth.

Biosphere Reserves are places of collaboration and exploration, affecting citizens, companies, government, and any other organizations. These areas are designated by UNESCO as model populated regions, which demonstrate innovation in conservation and sustainable development. In particular, these areas contain deserts, meadows, forests, mountains and marshes.

Biosphere reserves are spatially organized around three interrelated zones: The core area receives long-term protection to preserve biological diversity. The buffer zone is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices such as research, hiking and tourism. Finally, the cooperation area contains a certain number of agricultural activities, towns and villages, or industries. This site of social and economic activities must work towards sustainable development with the participation of the local population.

The network includes more than 650 biosphere reserves in 120 countries. The 16 biosphere reserves in Canada are the result of collaboration between communities, companies, the government, educational institutions and all other organizations. They rely on numerous partners and volunteers to successfully carry out their activities.