Isle of Man scouts are the first in the British Isles to work towards achieving a biosphere merit badge.

The Scout Association Isle of Man teamed up with Unesco to create the badge after the entire island was designated a “nature haven”.

To earn the badge, scouts must complete tasks relating to the UN’s 17 global goals for a better world.

Scout Commissioner Gil Costain-Salway said it would encourage them “be aware of the world” and “take care of it”.

Planting trees, collecting donations for food banks, cleaning beaches and reducing plastic use are some of the activities members, aged between six and 18, can do.

Biosphere reserves are areas of ecological importance designated by Unesco in an effort to protect them.

Among other global sites include Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia and Mount Kenya – the second-highest peak in Africa.

In 2016, the Isle of Man became the world’s only entire jurisdiction to be awarded the status ” due to its “rich biodiversity and outstanding natural landscape”.

Unesco praised the island as a “special place for people and nature”.

Environment Minister Geoffrey Boot said it was “wonderful” the group was adopting the badge working towards the global goals in “innovative ways”.

The Isle of Man is one of seven biosphere reserves in the British Isles, along with the Isle of Wight, Biosffer Dyfi (Wales), Brighton and Lewes Downs, North Devon, Galloway and Southern Ayrshire (Scotland) and Wester Ross (Scotland).

Girlguiding Isle of Man created their own biosphere badge in January 2019.

Source: bbc.com