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Analysis of Iran’s biosphere reserves based on representative criteria and proposal of new options

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Man and the Biosphere Program (MaB) was established by UNESCO in the early 1970s to resolve the conflict between humans and nature. The biogeography representative was determined by UNESCO/MaB as one of the main criteria for registering an area as a biosphere reserve (BR). Therefore, countries require selecting appropriate areas for BRs to complete the criterion of representativeness of the global biogeography protection network. This study aimed to analyze the study process of biogeography representatives at the global and national levels based on the research objectives. The results revealed the necessity of combining the map of Iran’s biogeography produced at the global level with the map of the macroecosystems of national production to identify the representative ecosystem units (REUs). The production of this map led to the identification of 112 REUs in the country. The compliance maps of BRs and REUs showed that 13 BRs of the country have covered only 23% of Iran’s REUs. The results of the studies of biogeography provenances, biological hot spots and ecoregions led to the definition of 5 quantitative indicators for screening and prioritizing the country’s REU. The description of this issue, which is very brief in the abstract, is given in the text of the article. A total of 18 REUs were specified with priority for selecting new BRs using identified indicators and Entropy Shannon VIKOR models. Based on the results, 27% of the REUs proposed can be covered by modifying existing BRs boundaries. All proposed BRs could select more than one REU. In addition, 15 REUs with about 17% of the country’s area may be covered with the registration of seven new priority BRs.

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Correspondence to J. Imani Harsini.

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Editorial responsibility: Samareh Mirkia.

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Alborzi Manesh, M., Imani Harsini, J., DanehKar, A. et al. Analysis of Iran’s biosphere reserves based on representative criteria and proposal of new options. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 20, 9465–9480 (2023).

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