MAB Bureau meets to choose new Biosphere Reserves and bestow awardsThe Bureau of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) will meet from 24 to 27 October at UNESCO in Paris, while the International Coordinating Council will meet from 23 to 27 October.
The International Coordinating Council will review progress made in implementation and assess new pilot projects. Three panels are scheduled for 25 October: Biodiversity: conservation and sustainable use; Socioeconomics: human and institutional development; and Science and Knowledge: networks for sustainable development. On Tuesday 24 (11.30 a.m.), Spain’s Minister of the Environment, Cristina Narbona Ruiz, will address the Council meeting.
Meanwhile, the Bureau is scheduled to select new Biosphere Reserves to become part of MAB’s World Network, which includes sites as famous and diverse as Cambodia’s Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Asia; the W region between Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger; the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil; and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands (Spain). Biosphere Reserves are areas designated by local and national authorities to serve as living laboratories to test different approaches to integrated management of land, water and biodiversity. As such, Biosphere Reserves are working models of sustainable development.
Thirty-two proposals from 10 countries (Spain, France, Malawi, Morocco, Mexico, Micronesia, Oman, Russia, Ukraine and Viet Nam) will be examined by the MAB Bureau. At the end of its deliberation, selected sites will join the Network that currently comprises 482 Biosphere Reserves in 102 countries.
During the meeting, the Bureau will also review applications for the 2007 MAB Young Scientists Awards and choose up to ten winners. The awards encourage young scientists to carry out interdisciplinary projects on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity. In addition, for the first time, the Bureau will give out ten grants (up to US$5,000) for research on Great Apes in Africa, intended for young scientists from 15 African countries, and a Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management (US$6,000 for a case study).