UNESCO Announce Wester Ross Biosphere.

UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has awarded Biosphere Reserve status to Wester Ross.  The newly designated area extends from the tip of Knoydart northwards to Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles and inland eastwards to Garve, including population centres in Kyle of Lochalsh, Lochcarron, Gairloch and Ullapool.

While Biosphere Reserves are perhaps not well known in UK, Wester Ross now joins a network of 650 other such reserves across more than 120 countries. Galloway and Southern Ayrshire is the only other Biosphere Reserve in Scotland. Such reserves aim to foster the harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development.

The Highland Council’s Chair of Planning, Development and Infrastructure, Dr Audrey Sinclair said: “This accolade is great news for Wester Ross as it recognises the close relationship between our communities, our fantastic natural environment and our economy.”

Aileen Macleod MSP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform said: “I’m delighted to hear that the application by the Wester Ross Biosphere Project Strategic Partnership for UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status has been approved. This international recognition is well-deserved and I congratulate the Biosphere community and all those involved in producing the application.”

Drew McFarlane-Slack, Highland Regional Manager of Scottish Land and Estates said: “We welcome this announcement and will work with Wester Ross Biosphere to showcase the potential for traditional estates to contribute to building a modern rural economy.”

Brian Easter, Chair of the Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust added: “I am pleased that our area has been awarded this status and look forward to working with other community groups in projects of common interest.”

22 Mar 2016
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