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11 Stunning Photos of the World's Newest Biosphere Reserves

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By Colleen Curry

The United Nations has designated 23 new sites around the world to its World Network of Biosphere reserves—stunning natural landscapes that balance environmental and human concerns and strive for sustainability.

The forests, beaches and waterways were added to the list this year at the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme meeting in Paris earlier this month.


The Biosphere Reserves are places that try to reconcile biodiversity, conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources, according to the UN. The choices are made by representatives from 34 UNESCO members. Here are some of the stunning choices from this year's additions:

1. Mono Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Benin/Togo)

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This transboundary biosphere reserve is composed of mangroves, savannah, lagoons and flood plains, as well as forests, and is home to two million inhabitants whose main activity is small-scale farming (palm oil and coconuts), livestock grazing, forestry and fishing.

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