CaveMAB Network #TogetherForCavesandBiosphereReserves

Join CaveMAB in celebrating the UIS International Year of Caves and Karst and UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) 50th Anniversary!

In 2021, CaveMAB Network hosted an outreach campaign to promote the understanding, exploration, and protection of the biological and cultural diversity of cave and karst environments through sustainable actions. We believe that we are stronger together and invite your biosphere reserve to join the network as well as participate in on-going collaborative projects. The outreach campaign is extended through 2022.

To all stakeholders and managers involved in biosphere reserves with caves, we propose several activities that you can carry out in your BR using the CaveMAB logo and set of prepared slogans that express our core values and celebrate caves and karst. Do what you can. As the IYCK organizers say: “We recognize our partners represent diverse cultures, skills, and resources. Therefore, please remember that we ask you to do what will be most successful for your culture, appropriate to your skills, and within the limits of your resources. No single person or group can do everything, but together we will reach people across the world.”


You can download it here.


You can download it here.


The slogans are to be selected for use based on preference and chosen celebration activity of individuals and organizations. Used consistently across all messaging, these slogans allow BRs to be unique but connected. The slogans could be used on logos, flyers, T-shirts, etc. for wider dissemination of the message calling upon everyone to take action. Slogans should come with the CaveMAB logo or at least the inscription CaveMAB. Translate them in your language and share the translations with us. We will publish them below here for others to download.

I live in a biosphere reserve with caves. Keep it sustainable on the surface.
I live in a biosphere reserve with caves. This is my key to the future. / They hold the key to my future.
I live in a biosphere reserve with caves. Every drop of water is precious.
I live in a biosphere reserve with caves. I am a citizen of the world.
I live in a biosphere reserve with caves. Hidden ecosystems increase my love for biodiversity.
I live in a biosphere reserve with caves. Explore. Understand. Protect.

Together for caves and biosphere reserves. More knowledge we share, the more benefits we gain.
Together for caves and biosphere reserves. Traditional knowledge for modern solutions.
Together for caves and biosphere reserves. Natural and human sciences united.
Together for caves and biosphere reserves. Sustainable science for biological and cultural diversity.

Caves are cradles of humankind. It is my duty to research and protect them.
Caves are cradles of humankind. Be proud of them.
Caves are cradles of humankind. Cherish and respect them.

I have a caveman/cavewoman in my genes. I respect the wisdom of my ancestors.



We want to make sure that our campaign is interactive. This is why we ask you to use the hashtags #TogetherForCavesandBiosphereReserves and #CaveMAB to promote your activities within this campaign as well as hashtags #ExploreYourBR, #UnderstandYourBR, #ProtectYourBR to motivate people to share images/videos/posts from their BR, student activities, research, and conservation efforts concerning the biological and cultural diversity of cave and karst environments. Please use the appropriate translations for your national campaign and share the translations with us. We will publish them below here for others to download.



We are proud to present our celebratory video. Together for Caves and Biosphere Reserves is a collaborative video project of nine biosphere reserves from four continents and one global partner organization. The video promotes the understanding, exploration, and protection of the biological and cultural diversity of cave and karst environments through sustainable actions. It celebrates the diversity of and human connection to cave and karst environments within the global network of Biosphere Reserves.


We are planning to produce virtual events such as short lectures from experts and program specialists and at least one webinar in October. The links to this material will be published here. If you want to share your expertise with us (managers, inhabitants and researchers), please send us an abstract and we will come back to you depending on the relevance to our campaign.

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme explained, by Miguel Clusener Godt (December 18, 2020)
International Year of Caves and Karst video (January 26, 2021) 
Best Practices in Protecting and Managing Cave and Karst Waters webinar series (October 25 and 27, 2022)


We invite stakeholders and managers of BRs’ to organize and carry out an ‘Action for Caves’ during the first week in June (June 5: World Environment Day, June 6: the US National Cave and Karst Day…).

You can organize cave/karst landscape clean ups, restore signs for caves, give information for students, spread knowledge of caves, promote protection and sustainable use of caves, surrounding landscapes and their heritage etc. by engaging as many stakeholders of your BR as you can. You can find two suggestions on how to contribute to the global CaveMAB community in the Proud To Share section of our webpage. Moreover, there are two Planning Guides to give you additional ideas on activities you can organize on the IYCK webpage in the download section and additional resources and information in the Get involved section of the 50th MAB Anniversary website. Let us all express our love to our caves, surrounding landscapes, and their intertwined biological and cultural diversity with feasible inspiring actions. Let us celebrate them. Let us show that we care about them.

Make sure to promote and document your event as well as share the results locally and globally with the IYCK organizing committee, 50th MAB Anniversary coordinators and us. The latter invites us to post our events and reports to the IYCK webpage and send them to the 50th MAB Anniversary coordinators. Your received reports (article or video format) will be published on our webpage’s News section too.

Everyone should check for local closures and follow all local COVID safety guidelines. Make sure to explore safely above and below ground. We remind you that there are ways to explore, understand, and protect BRs without going anywhere!


For more information, feel free to contact one of the network coordinators listed below.

Clayton Lino, Mata Atlantica Biosphere Reserve, Brazil, [email protected]
Lee Anne Bledsoe, Mammoth Cave Biosphere Region, USA, [email protected]
Darja Kranjc, Karst and Reka River Basin Biosphere Reserve, Slovenia, [email protected]

What is the International Year of Caves and Karst?

International years celebrate and inform the world about important topics, many of which are not known to the public. Caves and karst occur around our planet but few people understand the great value of caves to humanity. Fewer still know what karst is.

The International Union of Speleology, the worldwide organization of cave and karst explorers, scientists, managers, and educators, organizes the 2021 International Year of Caves and Karst which main goal is Explore, understand and protect.  Because of the COVID pandemic, the International Year of Caves and Karst was extended through 2022.

With our help, the organizers seek to:

  • improve public understanding of how caves and karst touch the daily lives of billions of people;
  • promote the importance of caves and karst through sustainable development, particularly in water quality and quantity, agriculture, geotourism/ecotourism, and natural/cultural heritage;
  • demonstrate how the study and proper management of caves and karst is critical to global economic and environmental health;
  • build worldwide educational capacity through activities targeted on cave and karst science;
  • promote awareness of the interdisciplinary nature of cave and karst science and management, and emphasize how interactions between different areas of science and management will be needed increasingly in future research, education, and environmental protection;
  • establish durable partnerships to ensure that these activities, goals and achievements continue in the future beyond the International Year of Caves and Karst.

As partners we are all invited to use the materials published on in its download section.


What is the UNESCO MAB program?

In 2021 UNESCO celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR).

The organization’s longest standing scientific intergovernmental program, MAB was established in 1971 to establish a benchmark for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments. It combines the natural and social sciences with a view to improving human livelihoods and safeguarding natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.

UNESCO program MAB 50th Anniversary Logo

Through its World Network of Biosphere Reserves comprising 701 sites in 124 countries all over the world, including 21 transboundary sites, it pursues a far-reaching agenda shaped by three functions:

  • the conservation of biological and cultural diversity;
  • economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable; and
  • logistic support, underpinning conservation and development through research, monitoring, education and training.

MAB is a pioneering program, practicing what would later be known as sustainable development with a holistic view of nature conservation together with social and economic development, at least 15 years before a consolidated definition of sustainable development emerged in the Brundtland Report. Biosphere reserves are the first international entity among the UNESCO-designated sites, alongside World Heritage Site (1972) and Geoparks (2001).

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, declared in 2019 that “Biosphere Reserves (…) provide unique platforms to address [climate change] concerns. We should build on that experience to invest in the world’s most vital natural zones from the Amazon to the forests of Indonesia”.

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the MAB Program was an opportunity to highlight UNESCO’s unique contribution to the 2030 Agenda in science, as well as to honor the commitment and efforts of its Member States to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly at the onset of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

The year 2021 was the year of the UNESCO MAB Program and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. It was a time to analyze history, learn from lessons learned and pave the way for the future. (Source)

Browse the webpage dedicated to the anniversary on


275 million people across 129 countries call 714 #BiosphereReserves their home.🌿 For 50 years, UNESCO has paved the way for communities living together in harmony with nature.Let’s continue to safeguard 🌍. Now is the time is take action #ForNature!

Join #UnescoBiodiversityForum here:

Posted by UNESCO on Wednesday, March 24, 2021


Life thrives in Biosphere Reserves!

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of #UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme, we will take you on a journey through a world of sustainable connections between people and nature.

#ItsAboutLife #ForNature

Posted by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme on Thursday, March 25, 2021