Celebrating The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere

Did you know that Brighton & Hove sits at the heart of a UNESCO biosphere reserve, just like Mount Olympus in Greece or The Golden Gate in the US?  

The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere is one of 7 UNESCO Biospheres in the UK and one of more than 700 UNESCO Biospheres globally. 

Biospheres are learning sites for sustainable development, reconciling people and nature through 3 key objectives:   

  • conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity  
  • economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable  
  • education, training, research, and monitoring 

The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere  

The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere was established in 2014 and is the UK’s only urban biosphere. It is made up of 3 environments – downs, towns, and coast – and 2 rivers run through the biosphere, the River Ouse and the River Adur. 

At 390km2, The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere is home to over 330,000 residents and hosts 12 million visitors each year.   

Within The Living Coast, there are 14 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), 2 National Nature Reserves (NNRs), and 1 Marine Conservation Zone.  

Purpose and goals 

The Living Coast is a partnership of more than 40 voluntary, conservation, education, local government and private sector organisations. The Board is made up of 20 of these organisations and meets 4 times each year. 

The purpose of this partnership is to connect people and nature to inspire a positive future. The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere has several long-term goals: 

  • Local communities and visitors to The Living Coast are knowledgeable and proud   
  • Visitors experience a thriving example of a sustainable society  
  • The community is enhanced by equitable development   
  • The Living Coast brand continues to drive development, business and ideologies 

Explore The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere 

To explore events, activities and volunteering opportunities throughout biosphere, visit The Living Coast’s events listings page.  

The Living Coast Partnership is planning for the next 10 years. If you’d like to take part, share your thoughts on past highlights or future wishes for the biosphere, please visit The Living Coast’s website. An online survey will be available in July. 

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve logo
The Living Coast logo

Eight for Earth Day  

The Living Coast is one of our ‘Eight for Earth Day’ series of stories, highlighting projects from the council and partners following on from Earth Day 2023.  

Earth Day recognises the positive actions of people making a difference to reducing the effects of climate change and restoring nature. 

Related news