The International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) has added 20 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, bringing their total number to 651 sites, including 15 transboundary sites, in 120 countries. Myanmar had its first biosphere reserve inscribed this year. These additions were made by the Council during a meeting taking place in Paris from 8 to 12 June. One new site, in Indonesia, contains mangroves and coral reefs:
The Taka Bonerate-Kepulauan Selayar biosphere reserve (Indonesia) is located at the south of Sulawesi (Celebes) and belongs to South Sulawesi Province. It covers an area of about 4,410,736 hectares. Mangrove forests serve as a barrier against the fierce ocean waves and hence as a shelter and spawning ground for various types of fish, as well as a habitat for many species of fauna such as birds. The national authorities aim to make this site the leading area in coral reef conservation and a major tourist destination in Sulawesi. The area is intended to serve as a learning laboratory for researchers, students, local government representatives, NGOs and private sector organisations.