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Isle of Man UNESCO bid images to be exhibited

A "unique celebration" of the beauty and diversity of the Isle of Man will be showcased in a new exhibition.

It will feature the leading entries in a government-run competition organised to support the island's bid for UNESCO biosphere status.

The status recognises areas with "outstanding natural landscapes" and is held by 610 reserves in 117 countries.

Environmental Protection Officer Peter Longworth said the photographs are of an "exceptionally high standard".

Biosphere reserves are designated by UNESCO as areas that balance the needs of people, business and nature.

'Unique celebration'

Their main purpose is to encourage conservation, sustainable development and active involvement in the environment.

Mr Longworth said: "Photographers really grasped the idea of capturing a living landscape, rather than simply showing the beauty of nature in isolation.

"Together the images provide a unique celebration of the beauty and diversity of the Isle of Man."

The government is currently working with a number of partners with a view to submitting a bid for UNESCO status later this year.

Places already designated include Mount Olympus in Greece, Australia's Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) and Greenland National Park.

The winning photograph will become the focal point of their campaign.

Environment minister Phil Gawne said gaining the status would be a "tremendous boost" for the island.

The exhibition will run until the 2 February at the Sayle Gallery in Douglas.

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