Bringing people and the environment together to build sustainable communities, both locally and globally, is a key principle of the Isle of Man UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In cooperation with the charity Beach Buddies, the Biosphere organises regular community clean-ups to preserve the island’s spectacular beaches, cliffs, glens and forests – all of which provide important habitats for nature, marine and birdlife.
Beach Buddies offers easy but structured guidance points to encourage groups, families, schools and individuals to get together, protect their island, fundraise for their cause, have stimulating discussions about their local environment and wildlife, and share their efforts with the media and others to ultimately inspire more people to make a positive environmental impact.
The project has been a huge success and a leading example of how the UNESCO UK designations work with local communities to make a difference collectively. So far, more than 15,000 volunteers have helped the island to tackle the problem of plastic pollution and sustain its traditional industries such as fishing.
But the Isle of Man UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is also a key player on the global stage. Its efforts span borders and have helped to set worldwide standards, according to Bill Dale of the Isle of Man UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
“We have had massive success in the Isle of Man, not just through Beach Buddies but also because of a number of environment groups and government initiatives. The Isle of Man now has a high profile within the UNESCO Biosphere network […] and we need to be aware that the network of Biosphere Reserves is now watching what we are doing. We have set the bar very high and have achieved a great deal, but we must – and can – do more.” Bill Dale, Founder of Beach Buddies, Isle of Man.
Beach Buddies seeks to encourage UNESCO Biosphere Reserves to creating a lasting change by ending plastic pollution for good, taking this initiative and using it appropriately to their own biosphere environments.
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