The Rotary Club of Douglas (RCOD) is delighted to announce that it has recently been accepted as a Partner of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man. RCOD is the first Rotary Club on the Isle of Man to become a Biosphere Partner and possibly one of very few around the world.
By way of background, UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Perhaps the best-known of UNESCOs programmes is World Heritage Sites. Biosphere reserves exist under UNESCOs Man and the Biosphere Programme, which began in 1971. The Isle of Man was admitted to the global network of Biosphere reserves in 2016 and is one of 701 Biospheres in 124 countries and one of only 8 UK and Ireland Biospheres. However the Isle of Man is unique in that it is the only entire nation UNESCO Biosphere in the world.
So what is a Biosphere? In order to become a Biosphere, a location must have two key features: people and a special environment. The three central platforms of the Biosphere programme are sustainable development, conservation and education. In essence our Biosphere status encourages us to learn about and cherish what we have and safeguard it for the future by making good decisions as individuals, as organisations and as an Island. As part of the process to become a Biosphere Partner, RCOD has given a Pledge to help in some or all of the following areas:
Protect our natural resources
Develop our economy in a sustainable way
Support and encourage our cultural heritage
Make our environmental impact positive wherever possible
Engage with the local community
Promote our outstanding living landscape and seascape through active involvement with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.
As a partner it is not necessary to be contributing in all the above areas but RCOD clearly qualifies through our involvement with the local community, by way of charitable donations and support for our cultural heritage. As such RCOD is a natural fit with the aims and principles of UNESCO Biosphere and looks forward to working with programme in the future.
RCOD President Anthony Pugh commented that the core values of Rotary and UNESCO Biosphere are very closely aligned and so it was an easy decision to make to apply to become a Partner. I am delighted that we at RCOD have been accepted and am excited to do more to support the aims of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man. Further information about UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man can be found on their website www.biosphere.im or on Facebook and Twitter
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