Bel Ombre, a Man & Biosphere Reserve

27 Jul 2023

  • Biodiversity
  • Bel Ombre
  • Planet
Bel Ombre, a Man & Biosphere Reserve

Project overview:  

The Macchabée-Bel Ombre region, renowned for its local biodiversity and commitment to sustainable development, has been part of UNESCO's network of biosphere reserves since 1977. In October 2020, the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program (CIC-MAB) approved the expansion and modification of the zoning of the local reserve, which was then renamed Black River Gorges-Bel Ombre Man and Biosphere Reserve. 

The Rogers Group and the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) have collaboratively contributed to achieving this label. The biosphere reserve has also been identified by Birdlife International as an important area for biodiversity and bird conservation due to the high density of endemic plant species per square kilometre. Spanning an impressive 8,582 hectares, the biosphere reserve is dedicated to fostering a stronger connection between humans and nature. The Black River Gorges National Park has been designated as its central zone.  

The buffer zone, a 497-hectare region around the core area, allows for ecotourism activities aligned with sustainable development policies. Rogers, through its subsidiary Agrïa has, for its part, dedicated 75 hectares of its lands to this program to act as a protective buffer zone. 

The Bel Ombre village, located in the transition zone, is a significant project component. The MWF, Rogers, and the NPCS collaboratively showcase the region's biodiversity and train villagers, encouraging environmentally friendly agriculture, fishing, and tourism practices, thereby promoting a sustainable development approach.  

The Group also owns substantial land through its subsidiaries and has several hospitality operations within this transition zone, where it actively promotes sustainable strategies. One notable initiative is the establishment of an ecological corridor and reforestation project along the Jacotet  River. Over 2,000 endemic trees have been planted, including a diverse range of 80 different species of plants, shrubs, and other endemic ferns, to date. This ongoing effort aims to create a natural corridor stretching 9.8 km along the edge of the biosphere-classified forest, enhancing connectivity for wildlife and contributing to the overall conservation goals of the Bel Ombre Biosphere Reserve. 

Our strategy: 

Bel Ombre Nature Reserve, located within  the buffer zone, has strategically positioned itself as a sustainable tourism and conservation leader. It is deeply rooted in sustainability principles, aiming to balance environmental preservation with educational and tourism activities. By providing a sanctuary for rare and endemic species, the reserve underscores its commitment to biodiversity conservation. Furthermore, through educational tours led by experienced guides, as well as other environmentally friendly tourism activities, Rogers Hospitality ensures that visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the area while learning about the importance of biodiversity and their role in its protection. 

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Bel Ombre, a Man & Biosphere Reserve

27 Jul 2023