» Meeting at UNESCO to designate new biosphere reserves
26.05.2010 - UNESCOPRESS

Meeting at UNESCO to designate new biosphere reserves

View of the centre of Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere Reserve, Bukit Batu - © Sinar Mas Forestry and Indonesian MAB Committee Programme.

New biosphere reserves will be designated during the meeting of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) UNESCO Programme, whose 22nd session will be held from 31 May to 4 June at UNESCO Headquarters (Room XII). The Council will also designate the winners of several MAB programme awards.

In total, 25 new proposals and applications for extensions, additions to the global MAB network, will be examined. The proposals come from 20 countries.


The Council will also examine applications for the MAB Awards for young scientists. Every year since 1989, ten young researchers have received awards of up to US$ 5,000 to support their research into ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity. This year, two special awards, financed by the Austrian MAB Committee, will also be attributed to young scientists within the framework of the International Year of Biodiversity.


Furthermore, the laureate of the US$6,000 Michel Batisse Award will present to the Council their work managing a biosphere reserve. The prize is awarded every two years.


A touring exhibition of aerial photographs of the Rhône Delta (France) taken by Jean E. Roché will be the subject of a presentation on 2 June at 4.00 p.m.


The MAB World Network numbers 553 sites in 107 countries. It includes sites as varied as Tonle Sap Lake (Cambodia), the largest freshwater lake in Asia; the Mare aux Hippopotames (Hippopotamus Lake) in Burkina Faso; the Pantanal wetland region in Brazil and Fuerteventura Island in the Canaries Archipelago (Spain). Biosphere reserves are sites that proposed by local and national authorities, in cooperation with local communities, where new practices for reconciling human activities and nature are tested. In this way, biosphere reserves are laboratories for sustainable development.

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