Skip to main content

Joint Slovenian-Italian application for the establishment of a transboundary biosphere reserve submitted

The Slovenian-Italian application to the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) Secretariat for the establishment of the Julian Alps Transboundary Biosphere Reserve was officially submitted yesterday in Paris. The application proposes a merger of the existing national biosphere reserves – the Slovenian Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve and the Italian Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve.

group photo

Ambassador Metka Ipavic and Ambassador Liborio Stellino (Permanent Delegates of Slovenia and Italy to UNESCO) and António Abreu and Meriem Bouamrane from MAB UNESCO | Photo by: Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Slovenia to UNESCO | Author Permanent Representation of Slovenia to UNESCO

1 / 3

The use of a joint name underlines the shared desire to become a unique transboundary biosphere reserve, which both national protected areas have been striving for over the last ten years. The creation of a transboundary biosphere reserve is intended to renew and foster the precious relationship between people and their territory, to promote the participation of local stakeholders and young people, and to raise awareness about the important environmental and socio-economic issues of the Julian Alps.

The process of preparing the candidacy for the MAB Julian Alps Transboundary Biosphere Reserve was launched in autumn 2022 by the managers of the existing UNESCO MAB reserves – the Triglav National Park in Slovenia and the Julian Prealps Nature Park in Italy.

On behalf of Slovenia and Italy, Ambassador Metka Ipavic, Permanent Delegate of Slovenia to UNESCO, and Ambassador Liborio Stellino, Permanent Delegate of Italy to UNESCO, handed over the application to António Abreu, Secretary of the MAB Programme, and Meriem Bouamrane, Chief of the Section on MAB Research and Policy.

If the application is successful, the declaration of the MAB Julian Alps Transboundary Biosphere Reserve is expected in late spring 2024.

The Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an intergovernmental scientific research programme under the auspices of UNESCO, which is establishing a global network of biosphere reserves. These are areas of terrestrial and coastal/marine ecosystems, or a combination thereof, and are internationally recognised under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme; they are designated by the International Coordinating Council of the MAB Programme at the request of the country concerned. Transboundary biosphere reserves are the formal recognition of the political will of two or more countries to cooperate on key issues related to the conservation and sustainable use of shared ecosystems through coordinated management and to achieve the three key objectives of the MAB in the long term: conservation, development and logistics.