The French Caribbean island of Martinique has joined UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program.
It’s the second major UNESCO recognition for Martinique, whose. Yole Sailboat also was added to the organization’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
“We are thrilled and very proud of the Martinique Biosphere Reserve Association and of our people for achieving this success and putting Martinique once again on UNESCO’s radar and, raising our island’s profile as an internationally desirable destination.” said Bénédicte di Géronimo, Martinique Tourism Commissioner.
In a statement, Martinique officials said the recognition “rewards the island’s longstanding commitment to sustainable economic and social development while preserving their local natural and cultural wealth, which is a key element required by UNESCO.”
The entire island of Martinique, including its marine exclusive economic zone, is included in the 12,169,368-acre biosphere reserve.
It’s the 12th biosphere reserve along the volcanic arc of the Caribbean, and one of just 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world.
UNESCO Biosphere reserves now cover more than 5 percent of the Earth’s landmass.
“UNESCO biosphere reserves are central to education, research and awareness-raising work to foster innovative sustainable development practices and combat the loss of biodiversity. The network supports local and indigenous communities and Member States’ understanding, and the protection of the natural environment,” UNESCO said.