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Biosphere status renewed

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By Christie Breen
Biosphere status renewed

Project achievements recognised globally

THE GALLOWAY and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere has had its UNESCO status renewed for another ten years.

UN officials made the announcement on Tuesday during a reception at Drumlanrig Castle.

The revalidation is in recognition of the area’s pioneering achievements in sustainable development and supporting global climate change goals.

The UNESCO delegation also revealed that the GSA Biosphere’s boundary will now be extended to incorporate Alloway, the Rhins of Galloway and 12 nautical miles of the marine environment. The site will grow from more than 5200 square kilometres to almost 9800 square kilometres.

Melanie Allen . . .Chair of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere

Following the announcement, chair of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Melanie Allen said: “On behalf of the Biosphere Partnership Board, I welcome the news of the revalidation of our precious designation. We are truly honoured to be recognised by UNESCO with an ambassadorial visit to mark the occasion. The prominence of the visiting delegation really does speak volumes about the achievements and distinction of our organisation to date.

“This is a significant milestone and excellent news for our communities, businesses and partners. Their continued dedication to the Biosphere unites us with a shared vision and passion for sustainable rural economic development, through best practice and partnership working.

“The groundbreaking work that has already been delivered in partnership with our dedicated Biosphere team is absolutely astounding. We can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings.”

Looking to the future, Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere director Ed Forrest added: “Our success to date is testament to the fantastic support we’ve had from partners, including residents, community groups, business leaders, land managers, schools, local authorities and South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE). Our renewed and expanded UNESCO Biosphere designation will allow us to build on this and do so much more to support our vision for a just and equitable approach to life where people and the environment are both given equal consideration.

“The ultimate success of the Biosphere will be when people no longer think about the actions they have to do to achieve this balance, but rather do them automatically because they have become societal norms.”

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