02.05.2013 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Strategic Meeting of Asia and the Pacific Biosphere Reserve Networks in Shaping the Future We Want for All

The Strategic Meeting of Asia and the Pacific Biosphere Reserve Networks in Shaping the Future We Want for All was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 22-25 April 2013. This meeting was supported by Japanese Funds in Trust and was attended by 32 participants consisting of the representatives from BR Secretariat in the Region: EABRN, SACAM, SeaBRnet and PacMAB, and the BR representatives from each network and eight BRs in Vietnam as well as the UNESCO National Commission, local government and NGO.

Welcome remarks were given by Vietnam MAB National Committee, Mr Nguyen Hoang Tri and Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, Mr Pham Cao Phong and UNESCO Hanoi, Ms Katherine Muller-Marin. These speakers stressed importance of BRs as a tool for sustainable development and need for enhanced cooperation between BR subregional networks. Mr Shahbaz Khan from UNESCO Jakarta Office gave an overview of the aims, objectives and expected outcomes of the meeting in the context of Seville Strategy, Madrid Action Plan, sustainability science initiative, UNESCO medium terms strategy (C/4) and biennium programs and budgets (C/5) and role of BRs in shaping and realising the post 2015 agenda.

The objectives of this meeting were to:

  • Assess the progress and accomplishment of MAP in Asia-Pacific BRs as well as identify the follow up for post MAP actions
  • Assess how Asia-Pacific BRs have been serving for MDGs and discuss the actions for post 2015 development agenda e.g. regional policy actions to develop a road map for contribution to the new SDGs
  • Discuss the future activities of Asia-Pacific BRs to enhance the cooperation between BRs, and MAB national committees.
  • Link BRs with the Sustainability Science initiative

The main recommendations emerging from the meeting include:
- There is a need for better and closer cooperation among BR networks in Asia Pacific to share good practices of the interdisciplinary approach to conserving biological and cultural diversity and showcasing of best approaches toward sustainable development in the local context and promoting national and international research in monitoring, education and training.
- There is a need to have a roster of BR experts that will assist the BRs for standardization of the nomination of BRs and sharing of knowledge on environmental management at all levels.
- Due to its wide area, it is recommended to have digital platform which is user-generated for knowledge sharing, scientific data and research among the BRs.
- At the end of the meeting, the participants drafted a regional project proposal to tackle critical issues and challenges in the BRs in Asia Pacific region, and to furthermore create guidelines for BR management in Asia Pacific region.

The results of this meeting will be presented by UNESCO Jakarta during the 25th session of ICC-MAB meeting that will be held in UNESCO HQ, Paris, on 27 to 30 May 2013.

The report of the meeting can be found here.

For Further Information Contact: Dr Shahbaz Khan

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