21.10.2015 - UNESCO Venice Office

Communication and branding are vital to the future of Biosphere Reserves

UNESCO MAB Brand and Story Toolkit draft

Cooperation, management and communication are considered the highest priorities for the future management of Biosphere Reserves. A tool kit for Biosphere Reserves (BR) will be the subject of the training workshop for the Republic of Moldova and Romania that will be held in Cahul from 28-29 October 2015 with the support of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy).

The MAB Communication and Branding Biosphere project (EuroMAB pilot study) was presented at EuroMAB 2015 and reported on at the 27th session of 2015 International Co-ordinating Council (ICC) of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 8-12 June 2015. The project was tested with 4 volunteer pilot biosphere reserves representing different languages, challenges, ecosystems and target audiences. A specific workshop was held in each of these sites with local stakeholders, the selected communication company ‘WITHIN People’ and the MAB Secretariat in France, Spain, Ireland and Canada.

The preliminary results of the project were thought to be highly relevant to the development of the new MAB in terms of communication and the vision and mission of the MAB programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). The next step is to broaden perspectives to enhance communication tools by engaging other biosphere reserves in this project. The aim is to test the tools within other local and socio-cultural contexts, as well as to train regional communication coordinators to use the tools effectively.

With this in mind, the city of Cahul in the Republic of Moldova will host the workshop on communication and branding for biosphere reserves (BR). Particular attention will be paid to the process of establishing a biosphere reserve in the Lower Prut area, strengthening transboundary cooperation with Romania and paving the way for a potential expansion of the existing Danube Delta transboundary biosphere reserve. The event will involve stakeholders, help them familiarize with the project and use the MAB communication and branding toolkit. The overall objective is to enhance their professional and institutional capacities, to strengthen cross-sectoral and transboundary cooperation and sustainable development of the territories concerned, and to boost the understanding of common values and messages relating to biosphere reserves.

Next year in Lima, Peru, the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves: A New Vision for the Decade 2016-2025 will assess the lessons learned and the new challenges faced by the WBNR and offer a unique opportunity to train regional communication coordinators on the tools to achieve scale, consistency and widespread application across the world network.

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