Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

World class for people and nature

UNESCO Venice Office visits the GSA Biosphere

Local and global partnerships for agricultural resilience

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Low Carbon Days Out

Announcing the launch of three new leisure and tourism guides for the GSA UNESCO Biosphere

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Moniaive becomes our 12th Biosphere Community

Connecting people with nature, heritage, and low carbon living

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Good For Business

Apply now for the Biosphere Certification Mark

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GSA Biosphere on National Geographic's 'Cool List'

An unmissable destination in 2024

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Scotland's UNESCO Trail

Discover the wonders within

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Local To Global

From the GSA Biosphere to the UK's other 57 UNESCO sites

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Merrick Scottish Blackface Knitwear

From rural industry to social enterprise

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Covering almost 9,800 km² of southwest Scotland's land and sea, the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere follows the rivers that flow out of the Galloway Hills: through forests and farmland, historic villages and towns, all the way to a ruggedly scenic coast.

The UNESCO Biosphere includes iconic wildlife and natural habitats which are recognised as being of international importance. It encompasses communities with distinct cultural identities, as well as historic landmarks and heritage sites that need to be protected for the generations to come.

The Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership is a non-profit organisation (registered Scottish charity SC044137) working across the UNESCO region, creating and facilitating projects that support conservation, education, climate resilience, and a sustainable local economy. We collaborate with multi-sector partners in initiatives that benefit people and nature alike.

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Galloway and Southern Ayrshire is recognised as a world class environment for people and nature.

The region’s designation was awarded in 2012 by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. There are more than 740 Biospheres around the world, a dynamic and interactive network striving towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Every UNESCO Biosphere is a centre for learning and research, and for testing solutions to some of the most critical challenges of our time.

Our Vision: To celebrate our passion for living in a way that benefits people and nature.

The GSA Biosphere Partnership’s activity programme addresses climate change impacts, land use, and the biodiversity crisis. Individual and community wellbeing is an essential part of our remit: closer connections with the world around us, and sustainable provision of food, fibre and fuel. Alongside local stakeholders, partner organisations and members of UNESCO’s global network, the GSA Biosphere Partnership is sharing knowledge, experience and ideas in pursuit of a better future for all.

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What We Do

Our ordinary is extraordinary

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire is a place of inspiration and discovery, where countless generations of travellers have paused to sit beside rivers and gaze across wild landscapes. Some of Scotland’s best-known thinkers and writers have spent time here, from St Ninian to Robert Burns. Today visitors are welcomed into our rural communities and invited to enjoy a cultural scene that celebrates the richness of Biosphere life.

Explore the Biosphere

Latest News & Events

12 Jul

Swedish-Scottish Learning Exchange Takes Place in the GSA Biosphere

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership has international connections with UNESCO Biospheres around the world. Members of the GSA […]

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10 Jul

UNESCO delegation visits GSA Biosphere for landmark partnership promoting agricultural resilience

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have welcomed representatives from UNESCO and the abrdn […]

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5 Jul

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership launches Low Carbon Days Out

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Partnership has launched its latest initiative to promote environmentally-friendly leisure and tourism in southwest […]

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