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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has approved Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve as part of its special exhibition to celebrate 50 years of biosphere reserves. UNESCO has designated 174 areas in 129 nations as biosphere reserves and will be celebrating the 50th anniversary with 10 of the biosphere reserves.
Outreach Officer of the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve Office Shaafee Ali said it was the first time the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve has received such an honour. He said the exhibition is an opportunity for Maldivians to present photos and videos showcasing the natural beauty of the country.
UNESCO is yet to announce the other areas it has chosen for the virtual exhibition, which is set to last for one year and begin in China before moving on to Spain and some South American countries.
Baa Atoll is an administrative division of the Maldives consisting of three separate natural atolls and is known for its natural beauty and thriving marine ecosystems. In 2011, UNESCO declared Baa Atoll as a biosphere reserve, stating that the area meets the requirements to be declared as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The Maldives consists of two more biosphere reserves, which are the Addu Nature Park and Fuvahmulah Nature Park.