The 10th Southeast Asia Biosphere Reserves Network (SeaBRnet) Meeting

When, local time: 
Friday, 18 November 2016 - 9:00am to Saturday, 19 November 2016 - 6:00pm
Where: 
Malaysia, Kuantan
Type of Event: 
Category 7-Seminar and Workshop
Contact: 
Joana Vitorica, j.vitorica-onaindia@unesco.org

The 10th Southeast Asia Biosphere Reserves Network (SeaBRnet) meeting will be organized by UNESCO Jakarta Office in November 2016 in Malaysia, with the theme on “Applying Sustainability Science in Biosphere Reserves”. The event will gather representatives from MAB Programme in Southeast Asia, including MAB National Committees and BR managers, with Sustainability Science experts and IHP representatives. The aim is to discuss how to jointly promote BRs to serve as models for sustainable development, including how to better apply the Sustainability Science framework in BRs from the region and how the MAB Programme could collaborate with other UNESCO programmes such as the IHP.
The 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves, held in March 2016 in Lima, Peru, focused on “A New Vision for the Decade 2016-2025. UNESCO Biosphere Reserves for Sustainable Development” and aimed to assess lessons learned and new challenges to be faced by the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), as well as develop and launch the Lima Action Plan (LAP) for Biosphere Reserves for 2016-2025. Experts discussed progress and obstacles related to BRs issues and worked together to settle the new vision of MAB which will contribute to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and its SDGs. The Congress ended with the adoption of the Lima Declaration and the new ten-year Action Plan for UNESCO’s MAB Programme and its WNBR.

Locally, MAB National Committees and MAB networks are strongly encouraged to prepare their own strategies using the MAB Strategy and LAP as the key points of reference. These should be founded in national and regional realities and imperatives and will contribute both to addressing these and to implementing the LAP at the global level. The UNESCO Regional Sciences Bureau for Asia and the Pacific region swiftly followed up the encouragement and organized an international event in Wakatobi BR, Indonesia, in June 2016, to discuss on the role of local governments in the management of BRs and the implementation of LAP. The Wakatobi Recommendations to strengthen the role of local governments were produced.

In July 2016, the 3rd Asia Pacific Biosphere Reserves Network (APBRN) Strategic Meeting” took place in Bali, Indonesia, within the regional sciences event “Fostering Collaboration between UNESCO in the Field and Networks towards the Agenda 2030. The need for collaboration and establishment of strong synergies between UNESCO Natural Science programmes were highly underlined as a major recommendation from participants representing the MAB Programme, the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme and the International Basic Sciences Programme.
The next step in the implementation of the LAP in the region will be the 10th Southeast Asia Biosphere Reserves Network (SeaBRnet) meeting, which will be organized by UNESCO Jakarta Office in November 2016 in Malaysia, with the theme on “Applying Sustainability Science in Biosphere Reserves”. Sustainability Science is defined as an integrated, problem-solving approach that draws on the full range of scientific, traditional and indigenous knowledge in a trans-disciplinary way to identify, understand and address present and future economic, environmental, ethical and societal challenges related to sustainable development. UNESCO Jakarta Office developed a five-stepped, multi-criteria spiral approach framework to implement Sustainability Science in Asia and the Pacific, for the moment applied to solve water related problems in UNESCO sites. This framework has the potential to bring environmental and ecosystems management solutions to BRs in the region.

The programme of the event will include country reports form the members of the SeaBRnet, presentations from UNESCO Sustainability Sciences demonstrations sites in Southeast Asia, a special session to showcase the example of Malaysia sites, discussions on the implementation of LAP in Southeast Asia, and a field visit to Tasik Chini BR, in Kuantan.