19.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Introducing Education for Sustainable Development in Biosphere Reserves and Other Designated Areas at EuroMAB 2013

© Evgeni Dinev – Landscape from the Strandzha Mountains, Bulgaria

Within the 2013 EuroMAB Network Meeting in Canada, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is scheduling a training seminar on Education for Sustainable Development from 19-20 October 2013. This post event shall contribute to enhancing the capacity of Biosphere Reserves to fulfill this third function by developing Education for Sustainable Development-oriented activities and, by doing so, to widen their impact on our societies while encouraging sustainable ways of living.

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere will welcome world sustainability leaders to EuroMAB 2013 from 15-19 October under the theme, ''Engaging our Communities''. The event 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 training on Education and Sustainable Development (ESD) is a post-event of EuroMAB 2013 which will allow participants to share their experiences and exchange knowledge, good/best practices and lessons learnt in relation to ESD activities developed in and around BRs; it will focus especially on good practices and lessons learnt related to activities demonstrating the third function of a BR, how it logistically supports ESD projects.

In March 2013, the UNESCO Venice Office released online the publication: “Education for Sustainable Development in Biosphere Reserves and other Designated Areas: A Resource Book for Educators in South-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean”. The 258-page illustrated Resource Book was the result of a large teamwork that has the ambition to effectively promote ESD in the field and in particular in Biosphere Reserves (BRs) of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme of UNESCO, as well as in other designated areas that share some fundamental features with MAB BRs. The combination with attempts to get a “win-win” result is: ESD can be well developed and demonstrated in such areas while ESD activities extended beyond the schooling system bring substance, interest and support to the management and protection of BRs.

During EuroMAB 2013, the UNESCO Venice Office will distribute to the participants the publication. This handbook, developed in close cooperation with MIO-ECSDE, is an illustration of what UNESCO can achieve when takes advantage of its multifaceted mandate, combining resources from its various sectors - in this particular case, Education and Natural Sciences - together with the demonstrated influence in the field of the MAB Programme and its network of BRs.

While focusing on a particular region of the world, there is no doubt this resource book contains elements of interest for all members of the EuroMAB network, especially for those interested in increasing the capacities of trainers and educators seeking to design and implement innovative educational projects, using BRs and other designated areas as authentic “ESD laboratories”.

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