PARIS, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Hanma biosphere reserve of China has been added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO , the UN agency said Tuesday in a statement.
The decision was made by the Council of representatives of 34 UNESCO Member States, during a meeting taking place in Paris from June 8 to 12. Another 19 sites around the world were also added to the network.
Extending over a total area of 148,948 hectares, China's Hanma biosphere reserve is located in Inner Mongolia and is described as representing an important part of the Taiga distributed in China, said UNESCO.
The cold temperate coniferous forest is the best-preserved forest type in China and is of high scientific value, added the UN organization. Forest products from this site also contribute to the socio-economic development of the communities in the area.
With the new 20 sites added, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves contains a total number of 651 sites, including 15 transboundary sites, in 120 countries.
Biosphere reserves are places for learning about sustainable development aiming to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with the sustainable use of natural resources.
The Man and the Biosphere Programme is an intergovernmental scientific programme set up by UNESCO in the early 1970s with the aim of improving the interaction between people and their natural environment, on a global scale.