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Dec 20, 2016

Gateways to Estonian Biosphere Reserve area are open


Since December this year, all major gateways to Estonian islands Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, such as harbours and airports are marked with sighs indicating that visitors have arrived to UNESCO West-Estonian Biosphere Area. Hiiumaa LAG is unique in Estonia, for we have declared in our development strategy to carry out the ideas of the MAB (Man and Biosphere) program. The slogan of our biosphere area  is: “Islands and Sea – safeguarded environment”.

Lia Rosenberg, the Program officer comments: "Our desire is that people would be aware of our biosphere and realise that all in this world demand responsible care and safeguard. Islands have limited resources and are isolated, but also a rich natural and cultural heritage. The most important thing is that both locals and visitors know how to keep and manage our heritage in sustainably way”.

Tiit Leito, the celebrated Estonian environmentalist, explains the meaning of the slogan:

The first half of the slogan is “The islandsand the sea”. Our MAB program area is characterized by landscape. Approximately half of the area is the sea with it’s wildlife. Estonian large islands, and in addition to them, more than a thousand small islets are all surrounded by sea.

The second half of the slogan is “Safeguarded environment”. This refers to the nature of the area and it's objectives. Landscapes, habitats and diversity are safeguarded and protected. Rights of all dwelling species are recognized. As an integral part of the Biosphere area are people practicing sustainable way of living and cultural traditions.

West Estonian islands belong to the UNESCO since 1990. The goal of the MAB area is to create and implement a sustainable rural development.

More info:  Lia Rosenberg, program officer of the Environmental Board of Estonia, e-mail: lia.rosenberg@keskkonnaamet.ee, telefon: 5207 457