» The union is strength: the successful joint work of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, the Intergovernmental...
23.05.2018 - Natural Sciences Sector

The union is strength: the successful joint work of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the Government of Flanders

Representatives of the SPINCAM and BRESEP projects at the FUST Ocean event in Brussels (May 2018). © Fernando Félix

Representatives of Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Peru learning about marine spatial planning. © UNESCO/Maria Rosa Cárdenas

From 14 to 16 May 2018, country representatives of the BRESEP project, coordinated by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)’s SPINCAM project, participated in a variety of talks, exhibitions and seminars as part of the FUST Ocean event, held in Brussels.


The BRESEP and SPINCAM projects both benefit from the support of the UNESCO/Flanders Funds-in-Trust, which is celebrating 20 years of support for UNESCO’s activities in the fields of science (FUST) including the MAB Programme, the IOC and the International Hydrological Programme (IHP).

The FUST Ocean event was organized in celebration of this collaboration and offered a remarkable opportunity to highlight the achievements of projects supported by the Funds-in-Trust related to the oceans and coastal areas.

The BRESEP and SPINCAM projects took advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate their collaborative activities and teamwork over the last four years.

The BRESEP project (Biosphere Reserves as a Tool for Coastal and Island Management in the South-East Pacific Region) strengthens and promotes the creation of biosphere reserves as tools for innovative and appropriate practices from a social, cultural and environmental points of view. In addition, it promotes the creation of a network for collaboration and exchange of information and experiences on biodiversity loss, coastal zone management and sustainable development, particularly in the coastal areas and in islands of the South-Eastern Pacific in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Peru.

To ensure good planning in the coastal and marine areas of the biosphere reserves of these five countries, the BRESEP project is supported by SPINCAM (Southeast Pacific data and information network in support of integrated coastal area management), which that works in the region to develop a long-term strategy for the sustainable growth of coastal areas based on science.

The establishment of an integrated coastal area management (ICAM) indicator framework at national and regional level in these countries enables scientific experts to map out the state of the coastal and marine environment and socio-economic conditions. This enables them to provide stakeholders in the countries and in the biosphere reserves, in particular, with the up-to-date, policy-relevant information needed to fuel sustainable growth and management of coastal and marine areas.

The data generated through the SPINCAM project allows for good management and planning of biosphere reserves. Biosphere reserves that participate in the BRESEP project thus become places for testing the data generated by the SPINCAM project.

In addition to participating in the FUST Ocean event, the representatives of the five countries participating in the SPINCAM and BRESEP projects visited the Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory of the Government of Flanders in Antwerp, where they learned about the different methodologies used for the good management of coastal areas in the country. They also attended a workshop in The Hague organized by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands. Lastly, they participated in a board game session designed to teach participants about marine spatial planning.

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