UNESCO Biosphere Reserve honour

Beach Buddies achieved what has to be undoubtedly its greatest landmark in October 2016 when we were honoured to host the Global Head of UNESCO Biosphere programme, Dr Han Qunli, at our base in Niarbyl. The 45-minute meeting at Niarbyl, which also involved the former head of the UNESCO programme, Professor Peter Bridgewater, has resulted in agreement for an ongoing relationship where we share our success story with UNESCO and the world. Dr Han Qunli and Professor Bridgewater believe that Beach Buddies has created a unique, but simple, system of engaging with the public to solve the problem of litter on beaches. UNESCO now wants to team up with Beach Buddies to spread the message around the world that the massive problem of marine litter on beaches can be tackled through community involvement, backed by support from governments. This relationship with UNESCO Biosphere would not have happened without the massive input of the Isle of Man Government and numerous government officials. But it’s far too early to say that what we have achieved in the Isle of Man can be replicated on a much larger scale elsewhere, but this is a unique opportunity which UNESCO Biosphere feels is worthy of progressing. Beach Buddies is delighted, and humbled, to join with UNESCO Biosphere to progress this project in the sincere hope that we can start an initiative which can make a positive change to the worldwide environment and tackle a pollution problem which no one, so far, has been able to solve. We live in hope that we have, in some small way, contributed to making a change across the world.