Promoting Green Economies in Biosphere Reserves


Windmills, Hierro Biosphere Reserve, Spain
© Carlos Teixidor Cadenas/Wikimedia Commons.

Bringing together experts, managers and entrepreneurs from Biosphere Reserves and other UNESCO sites around the world, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, CHIC Group and UNESCO Beijing Office hosted a three-day workshop during 14-16 December 2015 in Shanghai, China, in order to promote green economies in biosphere reserves through certification, labeling and branding.

Gathering 39 participants from 14 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, the MAB-BIRUP Workshop served as a platform for Biosphere Reserve experts, site managers, as well as public and private partner organizations including certification bodies and NGOs, to discuss biodiversity conservation, green economies, and sustainable development.

Participants shared information, knowledge and experience over three half-day sessions of presentations and discussion.During a concluding discussion held on 15 December, the participants agreed on a series of statements and recommendations relating to the topic of the workshop.

In conclusion, the participants took note that the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme must be a world-wide movement, led by people on the ground in their biosphere reserves. UNESCO is able to provide a facility to enable the programme and its activities. However, leadership must come from the global MAB community.

This workshop has represented one discussion among many that will contribute to an understanding of green economies in biosphere reserves. Many other parallel discussions will contribute to the programme in the months and years to come. Such discussions are required in the fields of ecosystem rehabilitation, biodiversity conservation for peace, industrial development and more.