16 September 2021
UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme today added 20 new sites, in 21 countries to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. This number includes 2 new reserves from Central Asia: Kolsai Kolderi Biosphere Reserve, Kazakhstan and the Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve, Uzbekistan.Kolsai Kolderi Biosphere Reserve, Kazakhstan
Located in the northern part of the Tien Shan mountain system, Kolsai Kolderi features unique landscapes of steppes that rise to the iced peaks of the alpine belt, canyons, rivers and scenic lakes framed by coniferous and deciduous forests It is home to many rare and endangered species, notably Tien Shan brown bears, snow leopards and Turkestan lynxes. The biosphere reserve covers an area of 242,085 ha and is bordered to the south by Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve.
Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve, Uzbekistan
Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve (LABR) in Uzbekistan is located in the northern part of the lower reaches of the River Amudarya, southeast of the former coast of the Aral Sea. The site is one of the largest areas of natural Tugai in Central Asia which, from a global perspective, is a unique and threatened ecosystem.
UNESCO biosphere reserves are central to education, research and awareness-raising work to foster innovative sustainable development practices and combat the loss of biodiversity. The network supports local and indigenous communities and Member States’ understanding, and the protection of the natural environment. From now on, the Network includes 727 nature reserves in 131 countries of the world, including 22 cross-border objects. The MAB program is also celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021.