The Isle of Man's bid to be recognised as a UNESCO biosphere reserve has won the backing of a high-profile Manx business.
Online gaming software provider Microgaming is supporting an official submission by the Manx government which will champion the Island as a special place to live, work and visit.
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. It awards biosphere status to geographic regions which balance dynamic, modern economies with a high quality natural environment and varied wildlife ecosystems. Good social and cultural credentials are also important.
If successful, the Island would become the first jurisdiction in its entirety to win the status.
Microgaming CEO Roget Raatgever said as a large employer drawn to the Island partly because of the quality of life, the company would be delighted to see the Island achieve biosphere status.
He said: 'we consider the ability to enjoy a healthy active lifestyle a vital component in the recruitment and retention of staff.'
Mr Raatgever added: 'the environment is a contributing factor as to why we chose to base the company here; it sets the island apart from other international business centres.'