Biosphere Reserves

In 1971, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the Man and the Biosphere (MaB) Programme - This is an international initiative aimed at establishing a functional model of nature conservation through the achievement of a harmonious relationship between people with their developmental needs and nature.

The program has established Biosphere Reserves - - as areas of outstanding natural and cultural value, which are important for enabling a sustainable balance between biodiversity conservation and cultural heritage on the one hand and economic development on the other. Within the Biosphere Reserves, three interconnected zones have been defined, each of which has the role of fulfilling a specific goal with defined activities:

• The core zones are aimed at long-term conservation of the most valuable areas based on their landscape, ecosystem, species and genetic diversity. A strict protection regime is being implemented in these zones, thereby significantly limiting human activities.
• The buffer zones surround or lean on central protection zones and are aimed at further contributing to their conservation, through the implementation of active conservation measures that are supported by scientific research, various types of monitoring, educational workshops, etc.
• The transition zones are parts of the Biosphere Reserves where the widest range of human activities can be performed within the limits of environmentally sustainable development of human communities.

Biosphere reserves are internationally recognized protected areas that form a network at different levels, from regional to global. The nomination and management of these reserves is the responsibility of the state in the territory of which they are located.

Currently, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves has 686 reserves located in the territory of 122 countries. A special aspect of the Biosphere Reserve is the transboundary Biosphere Reserve, however, only 20 such reserves have so far been designated worldwide.

In Serbia, two Biosphere Reserves have so far been designated, namely "Golija - Studenica" in 2001 and "Bačko Podunavlje" in 2017. It is also planned to establish the first transboundary Biosphere Reserve in our country, which would include the Tara National Park and the Šargan - Mokra Gora Nature Park in the Republic of Serbia and the Drina National Park that has recently been designated in the Republic of Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

"Golija - Studenica" Biosphere Reserve

Golija-Studenica Biosphere Reserve is the first established Biosphere Reserve in Serbia. It was designated in 2001 on the basis of the natural values of "Golija" Nature Park and the cultural heritage of the XII century Studenica Monastery, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Golija-Studenica Biosphere Reserve covers over 70% of the territory of "Golija" Nature Park, including the area of about 54 000 ha, which houses the most valuable sites, both natural and cultural. Major part of the Nature Park and the Biosphere Reserve is occupied by well-conserved forest ecosystems.

This area is a remarkable proving ground for scientific and educational work that also provides outstanding development opportunities in terms of knowledge sharing, development of eco and ethno-tourism and other forms of sustainable development, as well as formation of educational capacities, with distinguished character of the area at national and global level. The Biosphere Reserve is not only interesting for research in the field of natural sciences, but also for various social disciplines aimed at finding solutions for sustainable development.

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"Bačko Podunavlje" Biosphere Reserve

The "Bačko Podunavlje" Biosphere Reserve is located in the far northwest of our country, in the territory of AP Vojvodina, and is part of one of the most conserved marshes along the entire stream of the river Danube, also called the European Amazon. This reserve covers an area of approximately 176.635 ha.

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