» Transboundary Biosphere Reserves: towards a more effective management of shared ecosystems and sustainable dev...
25.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Transboundary Biosphere Reserves: towards a more effective management of shared ecosystems and sustainable development of bordering territories

© Tibor Mikuska, Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve

Within the 2013 EuroMAB Network Meeting in Canada, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), will be holding a workshop on Transboundary Biosphere Reserves on 17 October 2013 with the aim to enhance the capacity of EuroMAB countries to establish and manage their biosphere reserves, particularly transboundary ones, and to look at the transboundary potential within the EuroMAB network through innovative approaches to conservation and sustainable development. The workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss added values of biosphere reserves in the integrated management of shared water resources.

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere will welcome world sustainability leaders to EuroMAB 2013. The event is organized from 15-19 October in collaboration with the Canadian Biospheres Reserves Association, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and UNESCO. The theme, ''Engaging our Communities'' highlights the essential contributions of a variety of groups in implementing MAB objectives, including local populations and organizations, academia, different levels of governments, and the private sector.

The EuroMAB 2013 workshops will serve as key opportunities to build and strengthen relationships among participants to encourage and guide further engagement after the event; workshop presenters will share practical knowledge and insights they have gained through their experiences. 

In particular, the workshop on Transboundary Biosphere Reserves (TBRs) will aim to enhance the capacity of EuroMAB countries to help establish and manage their biosphere reserves – BR(s), particularly transboundary ones, and look at the transboundary potential within the EuroMAB network through innovative approaches to conservation and sustainable development. It will provide an opportunity to discuss added values of Biosphere Reserves in the integrated management of shared water resources. It will also help bridge the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the International Hydrological Programmes (IHP) of UNESCO while implementing activities towards sustainable development of transboundary areas.

At this time, over ten countries of sub-regions under the coverage of the UNESCO Venice Office - South-Eastern European (SEE), Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caucasus countries - have initiated and/or undergone processes for the establishment of possible TBRs. There is the need to facilitate these processes – in particular, at a crucial moment when stakeholders require support, and communities and authorities need clarification about their engagement, responsibilities and benefits - and to move forward with the designation process(es).

The TBRs workshop is open to all interested countries and their representatives in EuroMAB 2013 Network Meeting; it will bring specific added values to the SEE, Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caucasus countries and, it will strengthen the promotion and use of the BRs as a network of experimental sites established in the frame of the MAB Programme of UNESCO, in order to promote Sustainable Development (SD) in the subregions concerned. It shall contribute to catalyse the establishment of new BRs in the above countries, in particular in transboundary contexts, providing them with tools for the co-management of shared ecosystems (related in particular to water) and facilitate the dissemination of good practices and policy advice on Sustainable Development including a green economy approach.

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