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Biosphere Reserves for conservation and development in Ukraine? Legal recognition and establishment of the Roztochya initiative


The Biosphere Reserve (BR) concept is an approach that simultaneously reconciles and promotes conservation of natural and cultural diversity, environmentally and socioculturally sustainable economic development, and research. This study focuses on the legal recognition of the BR concept as a tool for sustainable development (SD) in Ukraine, and what impact legislation has had on BR implementation. The BR concept has been incorporated into Ukrainian nature conservation legislation. However, interviews with locals engaged with the Roztochya BR initiative revealed that the aim to promote sustainability through stakeholder collaboration was poorly implemented. Legislative misplacement of the BR concept created misunderstandings among local people during the emergence of the Roztochya BR initiative. BR implementation may be improved by (1) choosing national terminology describing the concept carefully, because this affects stakeholder perceptions, (2) ensuring that legislation for BRs has a multi-sectoral character, and (3) ensuring that those who implement BR initiatives have the understanding, knowledge and will to lead and facilitate SD as a collaborative social learning process towards ecological, economic, social and cultural sustainability.

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*Correspondence: Dr Marine Elbakidze Tel: +46 222 34971 e-mail:
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