Biosphere Twinning - making biosphere reserve connections...

A good presentation at Sustainable Sussex by Rich Howorth of Brighton and Hove and Lewes Downs Biosphere project.   

Details at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/biosphere... this is my understanding of the aims:

 - to aquire UNESCO Biosphere reserve status for Downland and valley zones including parts of Brighton and Hove and some marine areas protecting specific areas of chalk grassland species and marine ecology by 2014.- to connect people and nature and encourage cultural resonance.

- to engage community understanding and responsiblity for ecosystem services... the valuable stuff that nature provides for free: like water from downland chalk aquifers!   

- to promote environmentally sensitive economic development including eco tourism.

- to escape from what Rich described as the nature conservation ghettto by involving local communites - the mainly Brighton based group are looking for ways of making local connections. 

An intelligent Sustainable Sussex conversation included:

A discussion about how people might better identify with Biosphere reserve aims through real world, tangible objective, existing connections, working from what is already known: the water shortage being of great current relevance!  Also the potential power of art to encourage curiosity and understanding about the Biosphere idea.

Thoughts about the relevance of protected areas in general... borders, edges, labelling, sects, in/outside, open/closed, a sense of place, connection, holism...

I suggested the idea of Biosphere Twinning... developing Biosphere reserve connections as an interesting way of sharing experience and knowledge and making real human connections, breaking down the barriers which special status imposes... this could work well on line but also in the real world, inviting speakers to help us to understand how it works for their biosphere reserve already... hoping to make some village connections with people from a biosphere village soon!

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