In January, we have seen the recent issue of the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves newsletter (WNICBR ). The Commander Islands Nature and Biosphere Reserve officially entered the network in 2017. If you have long been interested in how the largest marine nature reserve of Russia is developing and what protected areas around the world do, take a look at Issue No. 16 .
The January issue was the most striking and long over the past few years and has as many as 14 pages of news about the life of biosphere reserves (BR) around the world - from the Philippines to the Basque Country and from Australia to the Isle of Man.
For example, colleagues from the Bay of Georgia biosphere reserve talked about their unusual territory stretching 200 km along the French River in Ontario, Canada. It includes the largest freshwater archipelago on earth called the 30,000 Islands. Currently, the BR is collaborating with 10 local schools, 7 community gardens, and is investigating 52 endangered plants and animals.
Many migratory birds gather in the fields of West Estonian Archipelago in Estonia
Some members of the Network share their difficulties and challenges that come with climate change and increased human pressure. Fuerteventura BR is going to revise its action plan in order to comply with all international recommendations and improve its work. The difficulties of several territories in South Africa are associated with invasive species. In the mountainous areas of the Gouritz Cluster BR, pines and hakea shrubs are getting out of control. To prevent local species from being pushed out and prevent the loss of the region’s exceptional biodiversity, the biosphere reserve staff organized a series of events to cut down invasive species. Several volunteers managed to cut and uproot 4,200 trees. This project was picked up by local farmers who helped clear some more hectares of land.
Other colleagues share unusual projects, for example, research on the Millennials or Generation Y and their role in future conservation. We learned the latest trends in the world of astrotourism. In our case, this is not about astronomy or space flights, but about the pursuit of beautiful views of the starry sky and of rare astronomical phenomena.
Educational projects were also covered in the issue. The Isle of Man BR shared the news about the opening of local book club, and the Commander Islands BR shared our Winter Challenge, which took place in all the social networks of the biosphere reserve as part of the Green Commanders project for the efficient management of waste.
In the summer of 2019, we opened the permanent exposition of The Waste Museum @wastemuseum , where we talk about objects caught in the Pacific Ocean and found on Bering Island. The objects we fished out and collected will no longer harm marine organisms, and this is very inspiring. But it is equally important to reduce the amount of waste, primarily single use.
The shape of a short-tailed albatross with a stomach full of plastic is presented in the Waste Museum
To do this, in the New Year’s month, we decided to invite everyone to join our initiative: do not buy single-use or useless things, whether it’s home decor or trinkets in the form of gifts that after the holidays turn into rubbish and can end up in the Pacific Ocean.
It is the ocean that has its own garbage spot - the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Currents bring here large and small fragments of plastic from different parts of the world, which are differently harmful to the environment. 80 percent of these materials are disposable tableware and packaging. Scientists say that it is impossible to completely clear the ocean of microplastics, but we can prevent new waste from entering it! The Wild Winter challenge was dedicated to this theme.
The challenge participants received avoska bags, wall calendars for 2020 and bracelets of the Friends Club.
Every Monday in December, the social networks pages of the biosphere reserve published thematic tasks “in the interests of the planet” that everyone could fulfill. Together we searched for alternative solutions for home decoration, gift wrapping of gifts and figured out which tree could be considered the greenest option. The best ideas were noted with useful gifts, imbued with the spirit of the Great Ocean. What came of this can be seen on the tag # wildwinter or #заповеднаязима .
Traditionally, each WNICBR newsletter has a small part of the release devoted to the activities of the Zero Plastic working group. But very soon there will be a separate newsletter, which can be found on the website .
Magic forests of the network participant Yakushima and Kuchinoerabu Chima BR (Japan)
We are pleased to see that more and more people are interested in the experience of colleagues in other countries. Indeed, a simple exchange of information can prevent many mistakes in the future. We hope that the Network will continue to grow and develop, bringing together experts and nature lovers to find new solutions.