National Coordinator - UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)

+46 70 660 05 07


Profile summary

  • Biosphere Reserves
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Adaptive co-management
  • Ecosystem services
  • Social capital
  • Governance

Johanna McTaggart is the National Co-ordinator of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) in Sweden

McTaggart's focus is UNESCO’s MAB Programme. As the national coordinator of Sweden's MAB she guides new initiatives of establishing biosphere reserves (BRs). Her focus is also to create new partnerships with MAB, and to allocate research to biosphere reserves that will help the BRs generate knowledge that addresses their sustainability challenges. Internationally, McTaggart is representing Sweden on the global governing board for the MAB programme, and she also supports the development and upgrade of BRs in several countries.

McTaggart started her higher education studies at Mary Washington University, Virginia. This is where she explored and deepened her interest for humanity and our interactions with our planet. After moving to Sweden, she graduated from the University in Skövde with Master's of Science, more specifically theoretical ecology. McTaggart’s Masters thesis focused on a food web analysis of vendance and smelt in Lake Vänern.

McTaggart has been involved in the MAB Programme since 2005 when she was recruited to establish Biosphere Reserve Lake Vänern Archipelago, which was designated in 2010. That gave her important experience in not only how to develop BRs, but also in how to run a BR with an integrative approach, where stakeholders are co-creators of the process to increase sustainability. McTaggart was the coordinator of the BR until 2017.

For the past 10 years, McTaggart has combined the two missions of being both a local and national coordinator within MAB. Since last year, she is working full-time nationally and internationally with developing Swedish MAB.

McTaggart is involved in a number of different boards and networks:

MAB-ICC, delegate of Sweden and member of board: The MAB governing body, the International Co-ordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, usually referred to as the MAB Council or ICC, consists of 34 Member States elected by UNESCO's biennial General Conference.

SEBR(Social Enterprise in Biosphere Reserves), co-leader: a thematic network that actively promote opportunities for biosphere reserves to become living laboratories that incubate, accelerate and facilitate the development of and investment into businesses that align with the aims and objectives of UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves. Biosphere reserves and enterprises are showcased in the web platform OASIIS (Opening Access to Sustainable Independent Income Streams)

NordMAB: a thematic network within the MAB Programme that aims to strengthen cooperation across Nordic Biosphere Reserves and create models of synergy, capacities and management.

EuroMAB: a regional network within the MAB Programme involving approx. 300 biosphere reserves in Europe and North America.

Awards and achievements:

  • Receiver of National Commission of UNESCO annual Award 2018 (Svenska Unescopriset 2018)
  • Swedish Delegate and member of MAB-ICC, 2017-2021, 2013-2017, and 2009
  • Co-leader of NordMAB thematic network, 2015-2017
  • Co-leader of of Social Enterprise in Biosphere Reserves, global thematic network, 2013 – current
  • Secretary General of Civilscape, 2011-2013
  • Member of EuroMAB Steering Committee, 2009-2015
  • Receiver of Lake Vänern Award, 2010