14.05.2018 - Natural Sciences Sector

Biosphere reserves of Ibero-America and the Caribbean adopt Action Plan for 2018-2025

©Gobernación del MagdalenaXVIII IberoMAB meeting

The Action Plan of the Ibero-American and Caribbean Network of MAB Committees and Biosphere Reserves (IberoMAB) for the period 2018-2025, including the revision of its statutes and other aspects related to governance, financing, education and training, was approved at the conclusion of the XVIII Meeting of the Network, held in the city of Santa Marta, Colombia, from 7 to 9 May 2018.

The main objective of the IberoMAB Action Plan is the adaptation of the Lima Action Plan for the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (2016-2025) to the reality of the Ibero-American and Caribbean biosphere reserves. The document is a guide that serves as a basis for initiatives, actions and projects that will be carried out in IberoMAB biosphere reserves in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Representatives from 24 countries of the network, the MAB Secretariat and UNESCO Offices in Montevideo and San José discussed and made decisions to strengthen the functioning of biosphere reserves through management plans adapted to the needs and realities of each country, and to establish/reinforce management committees representing the different decision makers including local and national governments, research institutions and civil organizations, among others.

The Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Science for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ms Lidia Brito, placed special emphasis on the importance of working with all the actors involved in biosphere reserves, as inclusion and innovation are elements vital to ensuring that the network has a real impact and a transformative role in Latin America and the Caribbean and at a global level, with a view to advancing towards sustainable and equitable development.

For his part, Mr Cesar Rey, Director of Forests, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, presented specific lines of action being implemented by the country to strengthen the management of national biosphere reserves including working with young people in relation to the dynamics of green business, improving the living standards of inhabitants of the reserves and ensuring the conservation of ecosystems.

Mr Sergio Guevara, President of IberoMAB, congratulated the countries on the significant progress achieved during the meeting and noted the high demand for attendance among the network, which strengthened the institutionality of the quorum and facilitated decision making.

The Ibero-American Network of Biosphere Reserves was created in 1992 as a regional network composed of 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Spain and Portugal. It brings together several mega-diverse countries; therefore its importance in terms of biological and cultural diversity implies actions at the regional level, as shared ecosystems play a strategic role at the regional as well as at the global level.

The event was organized by the IberoMAB Network, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, the Governorate of Magdalena, the MAB Secretariat, the UNESCO Regional Office for Science for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the UNESCO Offices in San Jose and Quito.

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