The Caribbean faces unique challenges in coping with climate change, sea-level rise, natural disasters, alleviation of poverty and sustainable development. The concept of biosphere reserve is an integrative tool that allows addressing these challenges. There is a great interest in this concept in the Caribbean, notably, in St. Kitts and Nevis, which has approved in 2011 its first biosphere reserve in English-speaking Caribbean sub-region.
Organized by the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme, the Inter-Ministerial and Experts Conference on Biosphere Reserves in the Caribbean Sub-Region: Tools for Sustainable Development and Growth will take place in St. Kitts & Nevis from 26 to 27 March 2013. The objective of this event is to facilitate discussions on the identification of appropriate locations for new biosphere reserves as well as their integration with the local/national sustainable development and adaptation to climate change plans. The Conference aims also to encourage participants in discuss the creation of an expert network for designations of new biosphere reserves in the English-speaking Caribbean and to identify specific initiatives, which can be developed in the already existing biosphere reserve leading to the development and promotion of new products, services and employment.
The event will define also the important role of UNESCO in providing technical and institutional support, overall strategic management of projects, following up the deliberations reached by Ministers at this conference and facilitating receipt of extra-budgetary funds to finance MAB projects at regional level, in close cooperation with the national authorities.