4th PacMAB Meeting
The 4th meeting of the Pacific Biosphere Reserve Network (PacMAB) took place in Nadi, Fiji 23-25 April 2014 and assembled representatives, managers and researchers of Biosphere Reserves (BRs) from the Pacific on the topic "The Role of Biosphere Reserves in Sustainable Development in the Pacific".
The objectives of the meeting were to:
- assess the progress, accomplishments and key challenges of the Madrid Action Plan (MAP) in the Pacific Biosphere Reserves as well as to identify the follow-up for post-MAP actions;
- seek new ways to actively engage with the existing Biosphere Reserves whilst working to increase the number of Biosphere Reserves in the Pacific;
- assess how Pacific Biosphere Reserves have been serving for MDGs and discuss the actions for the post-2015 development agenda (e.g. regional policy actions to develop a road map for contribution to the new SDGs);
- discuss the future activities of Pacific Biosphere Reserves to enhance the cooperation between Biosphere Reserves and MAB national committees.
In this respect, the 4th PacMAB meeting can be considered as a success. The statement unanimously adopted on the last day of the meeting is an excellent case in point. Through it, the participants have committed themselves to intensify their efforts on the long term to:
- Collaborate actively for the strengthening of the PacMAB;
- Renew their effort for the already proposed sites to become Biosphere Reserve while identifying new pilot sites in the light of the outcomes of discussions held during the Conference;
- Promote actively the concept of Biosphere Reserve as a significant tool for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Pacific Islands States during the Third International Conference on Small Islands developing States to be held 1-4 September 2014 in Apia.
This ambitious set of objectives emphasizes explicitly that the 4th PacMAB meeting was a significant step forward. It has opened the door to long term efforts for positive and concrete changes in the Pacific in the context of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
With this objective in mind, the UNESCO Office for the Pacific State will provide its full support to the members of PacMAB -among others who may join- for them to tackle the upcoming challenges as well as to translate their commitment into reality.