By Elsa Court
Biosphere reserves are areas designated by Unesco as test beds for sustainable development. There are more than 700 such reserves in 124 countries, each recognised for their efforts to conserve biodiversity. They range from wetlands to savannahs, mountains to marine areas. Here are five of the best homes for sale in some of these biodiverse areas.
The Tofino district of Vancouver Island, home to this oceanfront property, is part of Clayoquot Sound, an area designated as a biosphere reserve in 2000 for the diversity of its natural landscape, which comprises lakes, coastal inlets and ancient rainforests. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by a forest, the four-bedroom main house and an adjoining two-bedroom guesthouse are available for C$14m ($10.5m).
For Mediterranean flora
The Mont Ventoux reserve in south-east France is known for its Alpine and Mediterranean flora. This five-bedroom villa near Carpentras, in the Vaucluse region, is located inside the mountainous biosphere reserve. It could be yours for €1.17m.
For beach days
Situated a 20-minute drive from the Caribbean coastal town of Tulum in Mexico, this beachfront property sits within the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve, known for its tropical forests, mangroves, marine reefs and lagoons. The five-bedroom home runs on a combination of solar and wind energy, although there is a back-up generator. It is on the market for $3.75m.
For natural views
This Portuguese property, which includes a four-bedroom main house and two-bedroom guest house, is in the Peneda-Gerês National Park. The park is part of the Gerês-Xures Transboundary biosphere reserve, which spreads across the border into north-west Spain and comprises forests and two major peaks, Nevosa and Fontefría. The €3.5m property has an outdoor swimming pool from which to enjoy the view over the Cávado River.
For Alpine air
This 14th-century castle, located in the medieval Italian village of Saluzzo, lies within the Mont-Viso transboundary Unesco biosphere reserve, which spreads across the Alpine regions of Italy and France. The 12-bedroom property, which comes with a 600 square metre terraced garden and 12 hectares of land, is available for €2.5m.
Photographs: Sotheby’s International Realty; Knight Frank, Christie’s International Real Estate; IB International