29.01.2011 - UNESCO Office in Doha

Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in support of Cultural Rapprochement & Biodiversity

UNESCO Doha and Oman’s National Commission agreed to organize a major international event to celebrate the International Years of Biodiversity, Youth and Rapprochement of Cultures. In doing so we agreed to support the event “Conference on education for sustainable development in support of cultural rapprochement & biodiversity” in the best interest of the Doha Cluster, UNESCO and Oman.

UNESCO had a very strong presence during this event, based on the request and generosity of the Omani hosts. UNESCO’s Director General gave a presentation in the opening ceremony. Numerous staff from headquarters was present, and all of them actively participated with oral contributions. The uniqueness of this event was to support biodiversity conservation with the involvement of cultural rapprochement, especially young people, as well as via education for sustainable development. UNESCO staff gave several presentations, and there was a UNESCO booth with numerous take-away publications.

The interest was great and the entire material was handed out in a short time. During the Conference Benno Böer gave a presentation on the Doha Office’s ongoing activities on Biodiversity Conservation, with a special view to botanic gardens, biosphere reserves, and world natural heritage sites.

In addition, there were three side events, and based on invitation only:

1. Middle East Botanic Garden Networking Meeting. This network will be closely associated to the BGCI, and modes of operation are currently being discussed between BGCI and the Royal Botanic Garden in Jordan. UNESCO Doha will discuss and support the official long-term formation of this important exchange network.

2. Arabian Peninsula Environmental Advisors Network. This network met for the second time. It has been fully established, and voted the board of directors. We need to follow-up inviting the full support of the concerned NatComs, and try to assist this group to find funding for core staff and office.

3. Tourism Development in Biosphere Reserves, Heritage Sites & Geoparks. This group suggested focusing on supporting the Yemeni Soqotra Biosphere Reserve. It needs further discussion, how to work, and how best to support BR, Heritage Sites and related issues.

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