UNESCO has declared 3rd November ‘International Day for Biosphere Reserves'. We are meeting some of the people who make our Biosphere special and speaking to them about their contribution to it and how it inspires them.
Clare Barber MHK
Environment Minister and Vice Chair UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man Stakeholder Partnership Group
Organisation (if applicable):
How does living and working in a UNESCO Biosphere inspire you?
The fact that Biosphere straddles education, environment and the economy while focusing on enjoyment, engagement and sustainability shows the scope it holds across our Island nation and the synergies with Our Island Plan. For me, working in a Biosphere allows the interconnectedness of a built and natural environment to be understood and appreciated.
What do you gain from being involved in your Biosphere?
Being involved in our Biosphere reminds me not to take things for granted, to see and celebrate the good work around us, to challenge how our behaviours impact the wider global picture, and also to explore the worldwide network of Biospheres.
How would you encourage others to get involved in the Biosphere, too?
I would encourage people to first understand what the Biosphere is, not just the natural environment, but the built environment, our economic position and how it contributes to our vibrancy and how we share this information with others while seeking to underpin our Biosphere to ensure it is sustained for future generations. Then they can become a Biosphere buddy, take a Biosphere pledge, join a Biosphere event and explore organisations they are involved with that could become Biosphere partners.
What’s your favourite natural place in the Biosphere and why?
My favourite natural place is the Chasms in summer when the heather and gorse create a blanket of colour; a place where you can just sit and exist at one with nature and the sea listening to the lap of the waves and the call of the birds; a place where danger feels safe and where the beauty of the land and sea can be enjoyed together.
What’s the one thing visitors to the Biosphere should experience and enjoy, and why? Can be a location, activity, cultural experience, food, etc.
Eating freshly made bonnag in Harry Kelly’s cottage, Cregneash. For me this sums up the Isle of Man in a traditional cottage, eating traditional food listening to tales of the past. Perfect.
What makes you proud of your Biosphere?
Our Biosphere Partners make me proud, coming from such diverse backgrounds and organisations and all bringing something different to the Biosphere journey.
Sum up what Biosphere means to you in one word?