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Dublin: 0°C Saturday 23 January 2021
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Dublin Bay is now a UNESCO reserve alongside some of the most beautiful places on Earth

The bay is now a UNESCO Biosphere reserves.

9946441805_cb2d6a00f5_k Dublin Bay is now in some illustrious company. Source: Flickr/kendow

THERE ARE ONLY 650 local ecosystems worldwide that are labelled as UNESCO Biosphere reserves, this week Dublin Bay became one of them.

The designation recognises a particular area as being both culturally and biologically diverse and aims to conserve and develop these traits sustainably.

Since 1981, Bull Island in Dublin has been recognised as such a zone but this has now been extended to include all of Dublin Bay.

Some other UNESCO Biospheres worldwide include:

Škocjan Caves Park, Slovenia

8986783687_89749ef076_k Tour of Škocjan Caves across the Reka River. Source: Flickr/pauljill

Serra do Espinhaço, Brazil 

15139074171_a4d1c22e63_h Serra do Espinhaço at Espinhaço Ridge, Brazil. Source: Flickr/ClaudioBorba

Cat Ba, Vietnam

8348502795_b803ac8fab_k Cat Ba Island near Halong Bay, Vietnam. Source: Flickr/markjamieson

What does it mean for Dublin? 

The reserve includes three areas, the core zone, the buffer zone and the transition zone.

Some of the latter two cases includes communities near Dublin’s shorelines meaning 300,000 Dublin citiizens are now living within a UNESCO Biosphere.

biosphere_zoning_map_700_991 Source: Dublin Bay Biosphere

For the core zone it means that it is considers a protected ecosystem and is managed for the conservation of landscapes and biological diversity. The bay area is part of this designation, as are parts of Howth.

Outside that zone it means that scientific research, monitoring and education are to be encouraged in the buffer zone. The map shows that a range of scattered areas including parks, golf course and green spaces are located here.

The final area, the transition zone, includes many residential and commercial areas and the new designation means sustainable social and economic development is “strongly promoted within this area”.

The designation of Dublin with UNESCO Biosphere has been welcomed by politicians, local councils and Fáilte Ireland who say it fits with their work to market Dublin as the ‘city by the sea’.

To mark Dublin as a UNESCO Biosphere area, Dublin’s councils have organised a number of events including a cruise of Dublin Bay this Saturday and an art exhibition in St. Anne’s Park.

More information is available on the newly launched website.

Read: The baby seal in Dublin Bay has made its way back to sea >

Quiz: How well do you know your way around Dublin? >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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