Minister Humphreys congratulates NPWS and Kerry County Council on retaining the Kerry UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has today warmly congratulated the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of her Department and Kerry County Council for their work in achieving the retention of the Kerry UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (previously Killarney National Park Biosphere Reserve).

At a meeting in Paris last week, UNESCO’s Man And Biosphere Council confirmed that the Kerry UNESCO Biosphere Reserve will retain its designation as a Biosphere Reserve following the submission of a detailed Periodic Review completed by NPWS, Kerry County Council and by Galway consultants McCarthy, Keville O’Sullivan.

Biosphere reserves are renowned for exceptional environments and a high diversity of life, and are an internationally recognised “badge” for excellence in sustainable development.  Biosphere reserves are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located.  Their status is internationally recognized.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“I am delighted that UNESCO has recognised the conservation effort undertaken in the existing Reserve and the expanded zones within the expanded Biosphere Reserve and I would like to commend staff from the NPWS and Kerry County Council who worked together to make this happen.  Achieving the title of Biosphere shows how important the Department views the protection of our areas of natural heritage.

This site is one of two in Ireland which acts as a site of excellence for conservation, research and education.  My Department, in partnership with Kerry County Council, is committed to significantly strengthening integrated measures in line with the philosophy of the Man and the Biosphere Programme and Biosphere Reserves.

I am confident that our commitment to proactive conservation scientific endeavour and education for the sustainable use of biodiversity will deliver the best results for the expanded UNESCO Kerry Biosphere Reserve.”


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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