SOAPBOX: Biosphere signs fail to communicate strong message

COMMENT BY NICKY MOFFAT: DRIVING to Noosa I couldn't help but notice the uneasy irritation I felt as I drifted past the proud Biosphere Reserve signs.

Does anyone out there have a clue what a biosphere reserve is?

All it says to me is "Here's a thing, it's about the Earth, and only we know what it is".

What's the point of a sign that has a brand on it and nothing else?

That combined with the ridiculous series of roundabouts makes for a really fun internal conversation as I loop my way into Noosa Junction every Saturday.

What happened to the days when the curious public would be rewarded with a big information billboard next to a sign like that?

Does anyone remember those things?

Then, when I wondered for the 60th time what a biosphere reserve was, I would resist the urge to Google it on my phone and just pull over.

I would let my eyes wander over the carefully illustrated display. It would be written in simple English, without bureaucratic speak or clichés.

It would explain that the United Nations came up with biosphere reserves as a way of celebrating communities who live close to nature.

There are 500 reserves in 100 countries, and Noosa's was set up in 2008. Since 1977 the "Man and the Biosphere" project ("Cute," I'd think) has identified places all over the world where the challenges from human development are being actively addressed.

It's also (somewhat ironically) about communication.

What a shame none of that was on the sign.


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