UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization



UNEP/UNESCO project in Gunung Leuser NP (Indonesia) in the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

UNEP/UNESCO project in Gunung Leuser NP (Indonesia) in the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

The UNESCO Office, Jakarta, is currently implementing the project: “Protecting critical orangutan habitat through strengthening protected areas in northern Sumatra” in the Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia. This project aim is to contribute to the effective management and protection of critical wildlife habitats in Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) and adjacent ecosystems. UNESCO is assisting the stakeholders of Gunung Leuser NP (GLNP) in strengthening their participation in protecting the critically threatened habitat for its unique species such as the Sumatran Orangutan, Sumatran Rhino, Sumatran Elephant and Sumatran Tiger. To achieve it, the project is supporting the operations of the GLNP, under the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, through providing field equipment and strengthening the park management system focusing on the lowest management units, assisting in restoring degraded ecosystems, supporting the development of ecotourism initiatives and supporting the activities of the Forum Orangutan Indonesia.

The meeting brought together experts, managers, scientists and various conservation practitioners, as well as local government officials and the private sector to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by biosphere reserves today. These included: climate change effects; issues concerning the role of indigenous peoples and their knowledge in the management of biosphere reserves; and the dearth of up-to-date information on biosphere reserve ecology, economy, and people; among others. The meeting also focused on other key issues such as: the recent and upcoming biosphere reserve nominations; the broader Man and the Biosphere (MAB) International Advisory Committee and MAB Expert meetings as well as those on the implementation of the Madrid Action Plan; and consideration of uniting the sub-regional networks to form one cohesive Asia-Pacific regional network. Finally, the participants made a field visit to the Cibodas Biosphere Reserve to better understand biosphere reserve management in an Indonesian context and share ideas concerning biosphere reserve management.

This project is included in the Spain-UNEP Partnership for Protected Areas, in support of the LifeWeb initiative, which is structured around two key objectives: to improve the management of existing Protected Areas, and to increase the network of Protected Areas by either extending existing Protected Areas or creating new ones.

In line with the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the Spain-UNEP partnership is organizing on 20th June a side event to discuss how this partnership is helping to eradicate poverty and to strive for economic growth that benefits all; to commit to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and to address emerging issues from a human development perspective while protecting the planet; to pursue the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and to strengthen the institutional framework for sustainable development.

The Indonesian Minister of Forestry, Mr Zulkifli Hasan, will be one of the key speakers at this session, together with the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, among others. This event will provide a good platform to showcase examples of projects that have successfully assisted in improving participatory and effective mechanisms to protect unique species and their habitats, such as the programmes implemented jointly by UNESCO and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry during the last decade.

For additional information on the Spain-UNEP Partnership, please check:

  • 20-06-2012
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