IUCN and Star Alliance to connect the earth with the air

The Star Alliance of airlines, the World Conservation Union (IUCN), UNESCO-MAB and Ramsar launch Biosphere Connections to raise awareness of nature and biodiversity – in the air and on the ground
(Star Alliance and IUCN)


Star Alliance, ‘the way the Earth connects’, today announced the launch of Biosphere Connections, a partnership with three of the world’s leading international organisations promoting environmental sustainability.

Biosphere Connections teams the Star Alliance network with the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the world’s largest environmental network; the Ramsar Convention On Wetlands, a global convention covering wetlands; and the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO and its global biosphere reserve network of internationally recognised ecosystems, including World Heritage sites.

Under the partnership, Star Alliance will assist field workers from the three environmental agencies with transport to relevant meetings, conferences and events. Biosphere Connections fits within the framework of the Star Alliance CEO Environmental Policy Statement signed by the then member airlines in 1999.

Many of the biosphere reserves and wetlands, including natural World Heritage sites, covered by these international organisations are located in regions and countries serviced by the Star Alliance network. As official advisor, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) assesses and monitors all UNESCO natural world heritage sites globally.

Star Alliance CEO Jaan Albrecht commented: “Biosphere Connections demonstrates Star Alliance’s commitment to supporting protection of the environment and sustainability of the biosphere in a constructive and positive way. We are very pleased to form this partnership with such internationally respected and recognized organisations.”

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said, on behalf of all three organisations: “Biosphere Connections provide UNESCO, IUCN and the Ramsar Convention with an unparalleled opportunity to work in close partnerships with the private sector in pursuit of our common goal of environmentally sustainable economic development. We are grateful to the Star Alliance and its members for their support and their dedication to the biosphere.”

The partners will promote Biosphere Connections and the sustainable use of our natural resources throughout their extensive communications distribution systems, including in flight, on websites and through publications, conferences and events.


Notes to editors

Star Alliance and its global partners have created a new website link for Biosphere Connections:

World Conservation Union (IUCN):

Star Alliance:


Ramsar Convention on Wetlands:

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach and a smooth travel experience. Star Alliance was voted Best Airline Alliance by Business Traveller Magazine in 2003 and 2006 and by Skytrax in 2003 and 2005. The members are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, THAI, United and US Airways. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. Air China, Shanghai Airlines and Turkish Airlines have all been accepted as future members and are expected to join Star Alliance soon. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 16,000 daily flights to 855 destinations in 155 countries.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) brings together governments, more than 800 NGOS, and 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. Created in 1948 and supported by 1,000 staff in more than 60 countries, IUCN is the world’s largest environmental network for dialogue, science and action on sustainable development.

UNESCO-Man and Biosphere Programme administers a global network of internationally recognized ecosystems designated as biosphere reserves, currently numbering 507 sites in 102 countries. They include many World Heritage sites and Ramsar wetlands.

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an inter-governmental treaty signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971. The Ramsar Convention covers designated wetlands of international importance in 1641 wetland sites, totalling 146.4 million hectares, including 59 UNESCO-MAB reserves.

For further information please contact:

Star Alliance Press Office
Tel: +49 69 96375 183
Fax: +49 69 96375 683
[email protected]

John Kidd
The World Conservation Union (IUCN)
Tel: + 41 22 999 0201
Mobile: +41 79 417 4049
[email protected]

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