Riding Mountain UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve (RMBR), one of 16 Biosphere Reserves in Canada, was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1986. It is a special area within which people are encouraged to demonstrate better approaches to conservation and sustainable resource use.
The core protected area, Riding Mountain National Park, covers some 3,000 square kilometers of mixedwood forest, eastern deciduous forest, and rough fescue prairie. RMBR also includes a Zone of Cooperation which consists of the 15 municipalities and 4 First Nations that surround the Park, comprising an additional 12,000 square kilometers. The RMBR is encompassed primarily by Treaty 2 and to the west adjoined to Treaty 4. The landscape has been settled and managed by First Nations people since time immemorial.
The RMBR is rich in lakes, streams and natural habitat. Development within the Biosphere Reserve has largely been for the growing of grain and forage crops, and for the production of livestock. Hunting, guiding, and eco-tourism also contribute to the local economy.