09/06/2009

Aberystwyth included in new UN Biosphere

Aberystwyth has been included in the new United Nations 'Biosphere' centred around the Dyfi Valley, it was announced yesterday by Assembly Environment Minister Jane Davidson in Machynlleth.

The Biosffer Dyfi/Dyfi Biosphere ranks alongside a total of 531 sites across 105 different countries including, somewhat improbably, the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, Niagara Falls in Canada and Mount Olympus in Greece.

Biosphere Reserves are areas designated under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme to serve as places for experimenting with and learning about different approaches to environmental sustainability. The communities that live in the area, including their culture and economy, are considered integral to this.

Although not part of the core Biosphere area, Aberystwyth is included as part of the 'Transition Zone' after a consultation exercise last year found widespread support for the idea. The precise benefits of the status are still unclear. However, it will almost certainly result in increased grant funding for projects and developments that make a contribution to environmental sustainability. Over time this could add real substance to the area's green reputation.

A map of the Dyfi Biosphere can be seen here:
http://www.biosfferdyfi.org.uk/u/File/Zonation%20Map%20Biosffer%20Dyfi%20Biosphere%20Dec%202008.pdf

More details here: http://www.biosfferdyfi.org.uk/

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