In the UK there are seven areas known as Biosphere Reserves. They are included on a global list of Biosphere Reserves along with, among others, the Amazon rainforests, Cape Town and Urban Paris. These areas in the UK are designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty and so have protected status.
There has not been an area in the UK added to the list for thirty five years but now there is a bid to get the Brighton, Hove and Lewes Downs designated as a Biosphere Reserve. A planning process is being started in the hope that it will persuade UNESCO to grant this privileged status to Sussex.
The chairman of the Biosphere campaign is Chris Todd and he is hoping to stir up interest among local people as well as forming a coalition of activist groups in the area. He says there is an abundance of wildlife in the area and that people should be aware of how much we need a clean and natural environment so that we can enjoy it more and have a healthier existence.
He says that there has been a lot of interest so far but that they would still like to see more local people backing the bid. He also said it was a matter of raising awareness. There are some consultative events planned for local people where they can have their say before a formal application is entered in September 2013.
Apart from the prestige of Biosphere status, the award can also mean a lot of extra environmental aid for the area. In bidding for the award the local council has already received £100,000 in European aid for the environment. If the bid is successful it will mean a lot more additional funding which will all go to preserving the area so that people can enjoy it more and for longer. UNESCO will make a decision on the bid in 2014