Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man bids for international biosphere status

Isle of Man
Image caption It is hoped the island's cultural heritage will help gain Unesco status

The Isle of Man is to put in a bid to become part of Unesco's worldwide network of biospheres by 2015.

The designation, which recognises areas around the world with "outstanding natural landscapes", currently includes 610 reserves in 117 countries.

If successful the Isle of Man would join ranks with places like Ayers Rock in Australia and Mount Kenya in Africa.

Environmental officer, Peter Longworth said it was an opportunity to show the island as a "forward-thinking nation".

He added: "Official recognition by Unesco would be a tremendous reputational boost for the Isle of Man.

"It is not a form of regulation, does not create additional bureaucracy, and does not restrict economic development or the rights of landowners or the public."

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