Biospheres are organized into 3 interrelated zones:

  • the core area
  • the buffer zone
  • the transition area

Only the core area requires legal protection and hence can correspond to an existing protected area such as nature reserve or a national park.

This zoning scheme is applied in many different ways in the real world to accommodate geographical conditions, socio-cultural settings, available legal protection measures and local constraints.

This flexibility can be used creatively and is one of the strongest points of the biosphere reserve concept, facilitating the integration of protected areas into the wider landscape.

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