Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere
Today we are kicking of our Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve event in Scotland. As we mentioned in our first article, this event is hosted by Assist Social Capital (ASC). And after introducing the Swedish Lake Vänern Biosphere, we are introducing the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere where the conference will be hosted at.
About the Biosphere Reserve
Initially, Cairnsmore, Silver Flowe and Merriick Kells became an UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve (BR) in 1976. But when UNESCO redefined Biosphere Reserves in the 1990s, this meant that the existing biosphere reserve needed to be broadened and redefined, as well, focusing more - next to conservation and research - on the people's relationship with the environment which meant including more social as well as economic aspects and how they can be brought together with nature. This redefinition of the biosphere reserve meant that existing BRs needed to decide whether they want to carry the new model forward or withdraw from the designation. After local consultations, the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire put forward an application to be designated under the new criteria. In 2012, the designation for the 'new' biosphere was approved. The new Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 526,888 hectare in the South of Scotland.
(read more about the biosphere here)
Support the economy to benefit people and nature
This principle to support the economy to benefit people and nature is one of the six principles of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Charter which defines its values and principles. Subsequently, one of the key goals of the biosphere is also to foster a sustainable economy and society within which businesses can develop: "Evidence suggests that successful Biospheres are those where businesses and communities actively collaborate, sharing ideas and good practice of social, economic and environmental sustainability. Working together to develop mutual understanding and for common purpose can help develop new ideas and better, more joined up ways of working, which themselves can better focus existing resources and attract additional resources." (G&SA website: Business Development)