UNESCO-CHIC Biosphere Integrated Rural Urbanization Project (BIRUP)
UNESCO MAB will work with CHIC Corporation of China to launch BIRUP in the context of the Shanghai Declaration of Urban Futures and Human and Ecosystem Well-being.
Under UNESCO MAB’s Urban Futures initiative an innovative project "Biosphere Integrated Rural Urbanization Project" (BIRUP) has been launched in response to the challenges posed by rapid urbanization as a driver of environmental change, BIRUP is designed to strengthen and support interdisciplinary and international cooperation on sustainable urban development in existing, new, and rapidly expanding cities; to facilitate the integration of urban areas into biosphere reserves; and to bring about the comprehensive coordination between rural-urban interactions in order to minimize poverty, improve environment and promote human well-being.
UNESCO MAB will work with CHIC Corporation of China to launch BIRUP in the context of the Shanghai Declaration of Urban Futures and Human and Ecosystem Well-being (2010) and MAB’s Urban Futures Initiative. On 16 April 2012 an agreement was signed at UNESCO Headquarters between UNESCO, represented by the ADG/BSP, Mr. Hans D’Orville and the CHIC Corporation Group, China, represented by its CEO, Mr Edward Zhu. The CHIC Corporation will provide a donation of two million US dollars (US$2,000,000) over five (5) years to the implementation of BIRUP in the Asian and African continents. A technical meeting of BIRUP was convened by Natural Sciences Sector on 17 April 2012.
“This is the first time that the UNESCO MAB Programme cooperates with Chinese private sector”, said Mr N. Ishwaran, Director of Ecological and Earth Sciences, UNESCO. BIRUP will focus on testing locally relevant approaches to green sustainable development through integrated rural urbanization and will promote green production, sustainable life styles, traditional culture, education, certification of quality products, and the transition to green economy and societies. “BIRUP does not merely focuses on eradicating poverty but aims to generate wealth creation opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid”, said Mr Zhu.
Chongqing Banan (China) where CHIC Corporation has already been carrying out pilot activities shall be the first site to explore integrated rural urbanization as a new dynamic in urban-rural relationships that can have significant importance for sustainable development; its lessons and experience will be shared with UNESCO partners in Asia and Africa during the 5-year project. The implementation of BIRUP will also strengthen international cooperation including South-South cooperation, capacity building and exchanges of experience in the field of ecology, sustainable development and related domains of research and development.
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