We are currently facing a lot of environmental problems and action to combat many of these problems is slow or lacking. More needs to be urgently done, to solve the issues that affect us all.

Environmental problems; water pollution, litter, and air pollution

The environment is changing, and it’s not for the better.

The negative effect humanity is having on the environment is undeniable.

Through our actions we are destroying habitats, depleting natural resources, and endangering the lives of ourselves and of future generations.

Biosphere reserves, however, can make a significant difference in tackling these environmental problems.

Planting trees to prevent soil erosion, mitigate climate change and as habitat for wildlife, in the Waterberg Biosphere Region

Biosphere reserves provide an opportunity for residents living within a biosphere to become stakeholders in the conservation and development of their area. This provides multiple views, expertise and local knowledge that can help tackle environmental problems. It also encourages both local people and scientists to get involved.

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets are 20 (time bound) measurable targets to be met by the year 2020 and form part of the strategic plan that was developed at the Nagoya Conference for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The CBD has three main goals; the conservation of biodiversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

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Alien invasive plants such as Pompom weed being removed in the Waterberg Biosphere Region

Biosphere reserves are important in helping to tackle environmental problems, especially at the grassroots level.

They do this by helping;

  • To conserve biological diversity
  • To protect cultural heritage
  • To maintain healthy ecosystems
  • To learn about natural systems and how they are changing
  • To learn about traditional forms of land-use
  • To share knowledge on how to manage natural resources in a sustainable way
  • To cooperate in solving natural resource problems
  • To help create sustainable livelihoods and jobs
  • To help create, safe and healthy living areas for people
  • To help pool expertise for decision making
  • To act as a coordinating unit between different organisations for greater collaborations
  • To help with coordinated effort against unsuitable development
  • To help with further opportunities to benefit the area, such as international project funding for conservation and sustainable development
  • To help the World survive into the future

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030.


The SDGs form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Transforming our World.


Within the 17 goals there are 169 targets that are measured with 232 indicators; they cover social, economic and environmental development issues.



Biosphere reserves are also important areas to assist in meeting international obligations of Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations) and Aichi Biodiversity targets (Convention of Biological Diversity).