Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve

The Lake Champlain watershed and the adjoining Green Mountain National Forest and Adirondack Park contain an extensive area of wild forests, lakes, rivers, and wetlands that are within a day’s drive of the most densely populated areas of North America. The region is ideal for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems. With the designation as a Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1989, the region was recognized as fertile ground for exploring these relationships.

women on Mount Jo

The CABR is home to the beautiful and heavily used wildlands of the Adirondack Park. Photo: LCBP.

UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Program

The United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and Biosphere Reserve Program (MAB) was established in 1971. Since its launch, MAB has promoted itself as “an intergovernmental programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for improvement of relations between people and their environments.” The mission of the United States MAB Program is to explore, demonstrate, promote, and encourage harmonious relationships between people and their environments building on the MAB network of Biosphere Reserves and interdisciplinary research. From its unassuming beginnings, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) has grown to 701 sites in 124 countries, including 20 transboundary sites. The MAB works to achieve the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve

The Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve (CABR) was nominated by the U.S. Department of State in 1986 and awarded biosphere reserve designation in 1989. CABR was geographically defined by the Lake Champlain watershed, the Green Mountain National Forest, and the boundaries of the Adirondack Park. CABR’s more than seven million acres include extensive coniferous and deciduous forests as well as large numbers of lakes and freshwater wetlands. CABR is one of the largest and the most populous MAB reserves in the U.S. and includes numerous small towns and villages within its working landscapes. The biosphere reserve and its outlying areas are inhabited by more than 300,000 people and are within a day’s drive of 60 million people living in the U.S. and Canada.

The CABR has the appropriate size to serve all functions of biosphere reserves defined by UNESCO’s strategic goals:

  • Conserve biodiversity, restore and enhance ecosystem services and foster sustainable uses of natural resources;
  • Contribute to building sustainable healthy and equitable societies, economies and thriving human settlements;
  • Facilitate sustainability science and education for sustainable development; and,
  • Support mitigation and adaptation to climate change and other aspects of global environmental change.

Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network

CABN was established to develop partnerships among individuals, organizations and communities to carry out the strategic goals of the biosphere reserve.

CABN Steering Committee and Member Organizations →