FoD a Biosphere Reserve?

FoD a Biosphere Reserve?

Biosphere Reserves are an internal designation allocated by UNESCO. These sites promote solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. They are learning areas for sustainable development under diverse ecological, social and economic contexts, touching the lives of more than 250 million people. 

There are currently 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries across the globe, with 7 within the UK.  

Read more about Biosphere Reserves.

In 2019 FEP approved an investigation and preparation of a model by the Office for National Statistics to establish whether there was an Economic Case for a Forest Biosphere Reserve. On the most prudent of models this showed that for each £1 invested £3.89 would be returned over a 30-year period based upon the modellable presumptions. With an economic case proven the next questions are:

  • Does the district’s population wish to understand and investigate the potential of a BR?
  • What are the necessary next steps to gain accreditation?

Answers to these questions enable an informed choice on whether and/or how to achieve that status.

FEP's approach to Biosphere Reserves has many elements to understand and gain consensus on its size and location in ways that provide real benefits to those living and working in the District. These include projects, reports and next steps in process.

In 2020 FEP launched the first engagement project "The Forest We Want". This ran from October to December 2022 and engaged with approx 5% of the Forest of Dean's population. This enabled the building blocks for the next steps of the process.