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Accueil > Conservation International (CI) - Mise à jour: 08-01-2003 2:12 pm

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Washington D.C. based non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of natural ecosystems and the species they contain. For several years, UNESCO and CI have been co-operating in promoting the biosphere reserve concept.  

Conservation International’s work is based on finding ways for people to live harmoniously with natural ecosystems. It closely follows the biosphere reserve model in its operations which are spread worldwide in some 25 countries, with a strong focus on tropical America.. The shared concern is that scientific approaches and international co- operation can contribute to reconciling conservation of biodiversity with the need to provide sustainable development opportunities for local communities.

Co-operation on field activities in specific biosphere reserves includes projects in such sites as La Amistad (Costa Rica), Beni (Bolivia) and Montes Azules (Mexico). An initiative for micro-enterprise development in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala supported by the Inter-American Bank (IAB) has included technical assistance in micro-enterprise planning, commercialization, marketing and credit, as well as providing assistance to non-timber forest product harvesters in improved collection techniques. Infrastructure development has included extraction units for allspice essential oil, collection centres for allspice and corozo raw materials, plants for the extraction of corozo oil, corozo and allspice soap manufacturing facilities, potpourri production centres, and materials, vehicles, computers and other equipment needed to implement the infrastructure development. Results of the project have been reported in a multi-authored volume (Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Tropical Forest) released by Conservation International in English and Spanish versions in late 1999.

In terms of educational and communications materials, collaboration between UNESCO and CI includes the preparation and diffusion of video programmes. One example was that on Biosphere Reserves in Tropical America, prepared in 1992 by Brazilian film producer Haroldo Castro. The 25-minute documentary sought to demonstrate how the socio-economic development needs of local people can be combined with the conservation of biological diversity. Five biosphere reserves were featured: La Amistad in Costa Rica’s Talamanca Mountains, the 1.5 million ha Maya Biosphere Reserve in the northern Petén region of Guatemala, the 135.000 ha Beni Biosphere Reserve in Bolvia, Montes Azules in the Selva Lacandona of Mexico and the Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve in Brazil. More recently, the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala and the Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve in Brazil are among the biosphere reserves that have been featured in video programmes prepared by Conservation International.

In respect to training and capacity building, a joint project with INTEL has provided computer facilities to 25 selected biosphere reserves in developing counties, associated with four regional training courses.

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