27.05.2013 - UNESCO Office in Moscow

Seminar “Ensuring sustainable development of the Volga River basin: input of biosphere reserves to implement the recommendations of the world summit Rio+20”

The seminar “UNESCO Biosphere reserves of the Volga river basin” was held the fourth time in the frameworks of International scientific-industrial forum “Great Rivers”. This year it was devoted to the theme “Ensuring sustainable development of the Volga River basin: input of biosphere reserves to implement the recommendations of the world summit Rio+20”. The seminar was held on May 16-17, 2013 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

The seminar was organized by the UNESCO  Office in Moscow within the framework of the UNESCO/Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia programme “The Living Volga” in close cooperation with the Russian Committee of the UNESCO Programme “Man and Biosphere” (MAB) and Nizhny Novgorod State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering (UNESCO Chair “Ecologically safe development of a large region – the Volga river basin” and Department for international and interuniversity cooperation of NNGASU).   

The Living Volga programme is implemented mainly on territories of the biosphere reserves situated within the Volga river basin.  It’s aimed at fostering better awareness and valuation of biodiversity resources of the Volga water and wetlands ecosystems and understanding of principles of sustainable development among the general public. 

Ms Natalia Tokareva, the manager on UNESCO scientific programmes, made a welcoming speech to the participants of the workshop on behalf of Mr Dendev Badarch, the director of UNESCO Office in Moscow. She noticed that this event makes an inestimable contribution to the support of the sustainable development of the Volga river basin, strengthening of UNESCO Programme “Man and Biosphere” and the development of the biosphere reserves of the Volga basin.     

The seminar was attended by 70 persons including directors and experts from 11 biosphere reserves of the Volga basin, representatives of the Russian Committees of UNESCO MAB Programme and International Hydrological Programme, the UNESCO Moscow Office, Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia, representatives of the Government bodies, including the Ministry of natural resources and ecology of Russia, specialists of non-commercial ecological organizations, and also the foreign colleagues from Chinese Academy of Sciences.

More than 20 presentations were made during the seminar by the participants; the concrete   achievements of the biosphere reserves in conservation of the biodiversity and widening of the spectrum of ecosystem services were studied. Round tables on two key themes of the seminar «Cooperation of the UNECSO Chairs and biosphere reserves to ensure the sustainable development» and  «Improvement of the legislation of specially protected areas facing biosphere reserves»  were devoted to the detailed analysis of the effectiveness of biosphere reserves in the sphere of possibilities to implement recommendations of the world summit “Rio+20” and completion of the Madrid plan of actions by biosphere reserves of the Volga river basin (2008-2013). The input of biosphere reserves in the development of scientific research and ecological monitoring programmes to ensure the sustainable development in conditions of climate change was discussed.

The suggestions in raising the level of scientific researches for conservation and restoration of the man-affected natural ecosystems;  strengthening cooperation of the biosphere reserves with UNESCO chairs, business society and local population to improve ecosystem service management and restoration of disturbed ecosystems were considered during the seminar. Special attention was paid to preparation of proposals for participation of biosphere reserves of the Volga river basin in realization of principles of the sustainable development at the local level and promotion of exchange of experience at the international level.




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