Welcome to the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve!

   Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® is one core area within the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve.





About the Biosphere Reserve

The Mojave and Colorado Desert regions that lie within California were included into the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1984. Comprising a cluster of 3 core areas (Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument) and a substantial percentage of the northern Mojave and Colorado Deserts surrounding these areas, it is one of only 46 ecosystems in the United States with this special designation.


Our local reserve authorities, partners, and stakeholders recognized the special qualities of the local natural and cultural heritage, and joined together to help create our biosphere reserve. In the spirit of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Program, the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve provides opportunity for voluntary participation in efforts to balance the conservation of nature and cultural heritage with sustainable resource development outside the core areas that support prosperous local economies and healthy communities. The reserve encompasses designated wilderness, public and private lands, as well as urban centers; the core areas currently provide environmental interpretation and education, as well as research opportunities, and conservation activities.


The World Network of Biosphere Reserves was established by an Intergovernmental Scientific Program referred to by UNESCO as the Man and the Biosphere Program. Aimed at establishing a scientific basis for improved relationships between people and their environments, the UNESCO program embraces the principle of environmental sustainability by combining natural and social sciences, education, and economics. In doing so, UNESCO aims to protect natural and managed ecosystems while improving human livelihoods and promoting innovative approaches to economic development.  As of 2016, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves includes 669 reserve sites across 120 countries.