UNESCO IOM Biosphere
Isle of Man
UNESCO is the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Biosphere reserves exist under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme.
… The Isle of Man was admitted to the world network of Biosphere reserves in 2016.
The Isle of Man is one of 686 Biosphere reserves in 122 countries and one of six ‘UK’ Biosphere reserves (the Isle of Man reports to UNESCO via UK MAB). There are also two in Ireland. The Isle of Wight is a candidate reserve.
The Isle of Man is the only entire nation to be a Biosphere reserve.
It is due for a periodic review (reaccreditation) in 2026 and is already working towards that.
The Isle of Man’s Biosphere status reflects the fact it is a special place for people and nature and takes into consideration its environment, economy, culture, heritage and community. It recognises the Island’s ‘vibrant community, valued environment and resilient economy’.
At the heart of the Biosphere accreditation is sustainability.
Marketing of the Island’s Biosphere status revolves around growing the Island’s economically-active population to fill skills gaps; boosting visitor numbers; growing trade (eg food) and increasing national knowledge about what IoM offers and pride in IoM, while maintaining the Island’s special environment.
Although management of the Biosphere status sits in, and is funded by, the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, the status belongs to the whole community.
UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man is governed by a Stakeholder Partnership Group, chaired by the Chief Minister and with membership from Government, education, commerce, NGOs, charities and other bodies.