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07.07.2017 - Natural Sciences Sector

Cuba's biosphere reserves present key results of biodiversity and climate change management and issue commemorative stamps

La Viceministra del Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente (CITMA), Sra. América Santos, en el lanzamiento oficial de los sellos postales de las seis reservas de biosfera cubanas.

Within the framework of the XI International Convention on Environment and Development (3-7 July 2017, Havana, Cuba), a special session was held on international and national projects on biodiversity and climate change management being carried out in Cuban biosphere reserves.

The session began with the results of the COBARB (Conservation of Agricultural Biodiversity in Cuba Biosphere Reserves: Connecting Natural and Managed Landscapes) project, which was launched in 2013 and is being implemented in the biosphere reserves of Sierra del Rosario and Cuchillas del Toa. The project aims to conserve diversity in these protected areas through the incorporation of agricultural biodiversity into the management of these territories. COBARB has worked in recent years to preserve the traditions of those living in difficult-to-access high mountains areas, as well as to improve the quality of life of families and communities.
The managers of five of the six Cuban biosphere reserves presented the results of activities carried out relating to biodiversity and climate change management issues:
Mr. Lázaro Márquez from the Guanahacabibes Peninsula Biosphere Reserve explained how the reserve is implementing the Lima Action Plan and the new master plan of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves, and the contribution of the reserve to adapting this plan to the Ibero-American context.
Mr. Fidel Hernández from the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve presented recent activities in agro-biodiversity management, creating community seed banks and working in orchards with more than 60 families.
Ms. Yamilka Youver Martínez of the Cuchilla del Toa Biosphere Reserve presented the work being carried out to restore ecosystems damaged by mining activities.
Mr. Ernesto Pulido from the Buena Vista Biosphere Reserve presented his experiences in sustainable tourism, covering the creation of new opportunities, paths, and the recovery of culinary knowledge and traditions.
Finally, Mr. Arturo Salmerón of the Baconao Biosphere Reserve presented work undertaken in the management of coastal vegetation of xeromorphic and microphyllous semi-deciduous forests, mainly concerning the restoration and conservation of threatened species.
At the end of the special session, the Director of the Environment Agency and President of the MAB Committee of Cuba, Ms. Maritza García, the Vice-minister of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA), Mrs. América Santos, the President of the Cuban National Commission of UNESCO, Mr. Oscar León González, and the Associate Programme Specialist of the UNESCO MAB Programme, Ms. María Rosa Cárdenas officially launched a set of stamps highlighting the six Cuban biosphere reserves in joint cooperation with representatives of Correos de Cuba (Cuban Mail Service).
The XI International Convention on Environment and Development is organized by the Environmental Agency of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of the Republic of Cuba, along with other entities and organizations. The Convention aims to promote cooperation among countries, the exchange of experiences and sustainable practices, and the transfer of knowledge, as well as sustainable and inclusive economic growth, participatory social development, environmental protection and the dignity of the human beings.

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