In 1973, just two years after the UNESCO MAB Programme had been founded, the Austrian MAB National Committee was set up at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) on the basis of a contract with the Federal Ministry for Science and Research. Austria was one of the first countries to participate in the UNESCO MAB programme. The objective of the National Committee is to manage and coordinate MAB research in Austria. It monitors Austria’s research landscape, analyses the need for research, formulates new research strategies and stimulates and funds research projects. The National Committee advises and supports those responsible for biosphere reserves on scientific and technical matters and serves as a link to the MAB Secretariat in Paris. Furthermore, it is responsible for submitting areas which are to become a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve as well as for complying with UNESCO guidelines.