23.03.2017 - Natural Sciences Sector

UNESCO’s MAB Programme and the Belgium Government launch a new project on ecosystem services valuation

Blue Nile Falls in Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia

UNESCO’s MAB Programme and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) have launched a research project on the Economic valuation of ecosystem services in African Man and the Biosphere reserves (EVAMAB). A first meeting with representatives of the Belgian government, the MAB Secretariat and the EVAMAB research team was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 9 March 2017.

EVAMAB was selected following a call for proposals launched in 2016 by BELSPO and the MAB Secretariat, in response to issues identified by AfriMAB (the MAB regional network for Africa), in particular the lack of ecosystem services data and the need for easy-to-use and hands-on methodologies.

The general objective of this 30-month project (March 2017 – mid-2019) is to assess the economic value of ecosystem services and, more specifically, to test and adapt rapid assessment tools, and formulate pertinent stakeholder engagement and policy advice for biosphere reserve managers and decision-makers. The project will be implemented in four African biosphere reserves: Pendjari in Benin, Lake Tana in Ethiopia, Mount Elgon in Uganda and Lake Manyara in Tanzania.

This project is financed within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding between BELSPO and UNESCO to support implementation of the MAB Programme in Africa, including research activities in biosphere reserves

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