UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man

The Isle of Man was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere in 2016 in recognition of its special environment, culture, heritage and economy and its people’s desire to cherish and nurture them. The Island is at time of publication (June 2021) the only entire nation Biosphere and all our land and our territorial sea is included.
The Isle of Man was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere in 2016 in recognition of its special environment, culture, heritage and economy and its people’s desire to cherish and nurture them. The Island is at time of publication (June 2021) the only entire nation Biosphere and all our land and our territorial sea is included.
  • What are the zones?

    When designated, Biospheres have three zones, or areas. These help Biospheres balance the needs of conservation, the needs of people and the needs of the economy. In the Isle of Man these are:

  • CORE AREAS:

    These are habitats worthy of the highest protection and already protected in law. They include the Ayres National Nature Reserve, Areas of Special Scientific Interest, the Ballaugh Curraghs Ramsar site, the Calf of Man, Ramsey Bay Marine Nature Reserve, Port Erin Bay Closed Area, Baie-ny-Carrickey Closed Area, Douglas Bay Closed Area, Laxey Bay Sea Fisheries Restricted Area and Niarbyl Bay, Sea Fisheries Restricted Area (all now Marine Nature Reserves).

  • CARE AREAS:

    These include sustainably managed ecological and/or heritage areas which enrich people’s lives. They include Manx Wildlife Trust nature reserves, Manx National Heritage land, ancient monuments, uplands, glens, public footpaths, plantations, registered trees, water catchment areas and the rest of the Isle of Man’s inshore waters, where commercial fishing is more carefully managed.

  • SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AREAS:

    These are the areas where most people live, the towns, villages and the connecting infrastructure, and areas of our sea where we live, work and conduct everyday activity, mindful of our need to live sustainably. Key aspects of the Isle of Man’s natural and historic environments have legislation and policies in place to identify their significance and assign levels of protection. We operate a planning system which balances sustainable development with the protection of the natural and historic environment. Individual features such as Ancient Monuments and Registered Buildings are protected alongside Conservation Areas in towns and villages. Natural sites have legal protection, including Areas of Special Scientific Interest and Marine Nature Reserves, alongside the protection of key species.

  • ISLE OF MAN BIOSPHERE ZONES

    Biosphere zones in the Isle of Man at time of becoming a UNESCO Biosphere in 2016.

    Red are Core Terrestrial
    Dark blue are Core Marine
    Green are Care Areas Terrestrial
    Light blue are Care Areas Marine
    Yellow are Sustainable Development Areas
    Cream are Marine Live & work (Transition) Areas.

    You can view these on the map below.

    Areas granted additional protection since 2016, such as new Marine Nature Reserves and Areas of Special Scientific Interest, will be included on an updated map when the Biosphere undergoes its periodic review by UNESCO in 2026.

    © Crown Copyright, Department of Infrastructure, Isle of Man

  • Man and the Biosphere Programme 50th anniversary

    The Man and the Biosphere Programme is 50 years old in 2021.

    The 714 Biospheres join together to mark the contributing these ‘living laboratories’ make to the planet.

    Renowned conservationist Dr Jane Goodall DBE, UN Messenger of Peace, is the spokesperson for the special year.

    The emphasis of the 50th celebrations is around making Biospheres better known; promoting the local activities that contribute to global challenges; highlighting science-based initiatives and honouring Biosphere pioneers.

  • It's About Life

    Reflecting that Biospheres serve the needs of people and the rest of nature, the slogan for the year is simply ‘It’s About Life’.

    UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man’s Young Nature Blogger challenge and its tri-Biosphere webinar series with neighbouring Dublin Bay and Kerry Biospheres are both accredited 50th anniversary activities.

    https://en.unesco.org/mab/50years

GET INVOLVED

If you love the Isle of Man and want to help keep it special, there are a variety of ways to get involved in UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man projects. Here are a few suggestions.

Please help us spread the word about Biosphere Isle of Man!