Engaging the United States Network of Biosphere Reserves in a changing socialpolitical context

Jennifer M. Thomsen, Kelly L. Cerialo, Sarah M. Gaines, Jeremy S. Dertien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The United States was an integral part of the early growth of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), yet changing political and social contexts have impacted the relationship between the US and MAB. Poised at the start of a new period ofactivity, as the US reviews its strategy on its current and future engagement with MAB, it is critical to discuss the factors that haveinfluenced the history of US involvement in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) and how the US will engage inthe future. For the purpose of this article, the US Biosphere Network (USBN) refers to the current recently reinvigorated networkof biosphere reserves in the US. As many of the USBN sites are partially or fully mountainous ecosystems, the renewed engagementof the USBN will contribute to the conservation of some of the nation’s most prized mountain landscapes. This article providesan overview of the biosphere reserve concept and of US involvement with the intergovernmental programme. We discusschallenges facing the USBN, including relevancy and inclusion, political relations with UNESCO, and perceptions of zoning.We

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
Issue numberSpecial Issue
StatePublished - 2021


  • Biosphere reserve
  • Champlain-adirondack
  • Diversity
  • Governance


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