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MaB area - Biosphere Reserve

UNESCO launched the MaB (Man and the Biosphere) Programme in the 1970s, in order to improve the relationship between man and environment and reduce the loss of biodiversity through research and capacity-building programmes.

It then started recognising Biosphere Reserves: marine and terrestrial areas that Member States undertake to manage in a perspective of resource conservation and sustainable development, with the full participation of local communities.

The purpose of the Reserves is to promote and showcase a balanced relationship between human community and ecosystems, and to create special places for environmental research, training and education as well as for testing policies for development and territorial planning.

Biosphere Reserves aim therefore at encouraging conservation of natural spaces, but also at promoting the territory, its economic development and its cultural characteristics.

Each Biosphere Reserve is composed of three zones: a core area where animal and vegetal biodiversity is strictly protected, and where research is carried out; a buffer zone that is used for low-impact forestry, agricultural, and tourism activities; a transition area for the sustainable development of handcraft, services, and activities in the field of forestry, agriculture, and breeding.

Biosphere Reserves are therefore true sustainable development labs, where nature conservation goes hand in hand with promotion of natural characteristics and local activities in sustainable ways.

Circeo National Park is one of the places where the very concept of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme was created and developed, as the Biosphere Reserve "Circeo State Forest" (Selva di Circe) was established already in 1977.


In 2013, following the regular revisions that UNESCO carries out on MaB reserves, the Circeo Reserve was enlarged to its current perimeter, which encompasses the municipalities of Sabaudia and San Felice Circeo, and part of those of Latina and Terracina.
Coastal dune and lakes
(foto di Marco Buonocore)
Environmental education
(foto di PN Circeo)

(foto di Archivio Parco Nazionale del Circeo)
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