UNESCO MAB and Biosphere

Sudanese National Commission for UNESCO

MAB – National Committee


MAB and Biosphere Programme

Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

MAB’s work engages fully with the international development agenda – specially with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post 2015 Development Agenda– and addresses challenges linked to scientific, environmental, societal and development issues in diverse ecosystems; from mountain regions to marine, coastal and island areas; from tropical forests to dry lands and urban areas.

MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.

The MAB programme provides a unique platform for cooperation on research and development, capacity-building and networking to share information, knowledge and experience on three interlinked issues: biodiversity loss, climate change and sustainable development. It contributes not only to better understanding of the environment, but also promotes greater involvement of science and scientists in policy development concerning the wise use of biological diversity.

The Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme develops the basis within the natural and social sciences for the rational and sustainable use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the overall relationship between people and their environment. It predicts the consequences of today’s actions on tomorrow’s world and thereby increases people’s ability to efficiently manage natural resources for the well-being of both human populations and the environment.

 Objectives of the Programme

  • identify and assess the changes in the biosphere resulting from human and natural activities and the effects of these changes on humans and the environment, in particular in the context of climate change;
  • study and compare the dynamic interrelationships between natural/near-natural ecosystems and socio-economic processes, in particular in the context of accelerated loss of biological and cultural diversity with unexpected consequences that impact the ability of ecosystems to continue to provide services critical for human well-being;
  • ensure basic human welfare and a liveable environment in the context of rapid urbanization and energy consumption as drivers of environmental change;
  • promote the exchange and transfer of knowledge on environmental problems and solutions, and to foster environmental education for sustainable development.

Role of the MAB National Committee:

  • A MAB National Committee is responsible for the activities making up the national contribution of a country to the international Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB), and in particular in promoting the biosphere reserve concept.
  • l In liaison with the UNESCO National Commissions, it serves as a relay between the different institutions and ministries concerned by the MAB Programme and UNESCO (MAB Secretariat, Division of Ecological Sciences).
  • It ensures the national participation, whenever appropriate, in the sessions of the MAB International Co-coordinating Council, composed of 34 Member States.
  • be associated with decisions concerning research on and conservation of natural resources at the national level;
  • be consulted on the participation of the State as appropriate in other international programmes in the field of ecology (in particular the programmes carried out in collaboration with MAB) and the main Conventions (Ramsar Wetlands Convention, World Heritage Convention and Conventions on Biological Diversity and Desertification) as well as the national contribution to implementing Agenda 2 1.


  • The Sudanese National Commission for UNESCO provides budget  to national MAB activities and funds for its functioning (meetings of its members, participation in regional and international meetings, publication of research results and diffusion of information);
  • The Committee organizes periodic meetings and prepare a report on national activities to be addressed to the MAB Secretariat at least every two years;
  • Ensure information exchange and the development of data bases;
  • Ensure participation in regional networks and in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.