Your views wanted in UNESCO biosphere bid

A public consultation is underway into part of Lewes District becoming a special UNESCO area which is noted for its world class environment.

Lewes District Council said achieving UNESCO biosphere status would encourage more tourists and improve the environment.

The proposed biosphere zone would take in the Lewes Downs area, Newhaven, Peacehaven and Telscombe, as well as Brighton and Hove, stretching from the River Ouse in the East to the River Adur in the East.

Lead councillor for community engagement and health and environment, Robbie Robertson, (Conservative, Peacehaven North) said: “I would urge you to take part in the consultation.

“The Biosphere bid is seeking to gain international recognition for the good work that already takes place in the area.

“It will also enable the partnership, which includes Lewes District Council, to attract funding to improve our environment and to join up current work and activities.”

The first consultation event, where people can find out more about UNESCO biospheres, will be on March 30, from 10am-2pm, at Community House, Meridian Way, Peacehaven.

The next one will take place from March 18-24, Civic Centre, South Coast Road, Telscombe.

Another consultation event will be held from March 11-16, in the Hillcrest Community Centre, in Hillcrest Road, Newhaven.

Amongst the benefits of achieving international UNESCO Biosphere status highlighted by the district council are: an improved quality of life by creating a healthier environment, strengthening the economy by making the area a more attractive place to visit, reduced water treatment costs and improved drinking water by reducing pollution of the chalk aquifer, stronger community awareness, identity and pride in the local environment and the heightened profile of being awarded a world class accolade, helping to attract additional grant funding and investment.

The three month consultation has been launched to inform the public about the bid and to ask them whether they support it.

An online questionnaire about what residents value most about the area and what they would like to see improved will be used to help shape future Biosphere projects and priorities.

Visit http://biospherehere.org.uk/ to find out more and take part in the online consultation.

The United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) is an international organisation with almost 200 member countries and its headquarters in Paris.

Its mission is to contribute to building peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.

UNESCO’S aim is to develop a global network of Biosphere reserves, or world class natural environments, which promote a balanced relationship between people and nature.