There are more than 530 biosphere reserves on the planet, the purpose of which is to preserve landscape and biological diversity of the Earth. UNESCO biosphere reserves refer to priorities of international environmental law, which is necessary to be fulfilled by the countries-members of UNESCO. Belarus also refers to these countries. Currently, the international status of biosphere reserves in Belarus belongs to: the reserve “Berezinsky”, the National park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”, the biosphere reserve “Pribuzhskoe Polesie”.
Biosphere reserves play the role of so called knots of ecological networks. In the last decades work on the establishment of transboundary biosphere reserves (TBR) started, as ecosystems have no state frontiers and are often located on both sides of the border.
Transboundary biosphere reserve «Western Polesie»
Academy of Sciences of Poland UNESCO Director – General Irina Bokova awarded international certificates to representatives of the three countries to recognize the TBR “Western Polesie”. The unique nature and cultural heritage of the Polesie region of the three states have received well-deserved international recognition and support. Each biosphere reserve is independent and certainly has a unique nature and rich cultural heritage. At present this is the fourth in the world and second in Europe tripartite (created with the participation of the three countries) protected area. Total area of protected land is 263,000 hectares, including in Belarus – 48,000 ha, in Poland – 140,000 ha and in Ukraine – 75,000 hectares. National biosphere reserves are located along the middle reaches of the Western Bug. The motto of the trilateral transboundary biosphere reserve West Polesie is “Three countries – one Polesie”.