Ibero-American youth meet to share concrete actions for sustainable development in biosphere reserves

04 December 2018

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© UNESCO

On 5-8 December 2018, the Zapotepamba Binational Center and the city of Catacocha, in Ecuador, will receive over 90 participants from 24 Ibero-American countries for the 1st Youth Forum of the Ibero-American and Caribbean Biosphere Reserves Network (IberoMAB). The objective is to identify opportunities for young people and concrete actions of sustainable development in the Biosphere Reserves of 24 Ibero-American countries, and to create a youth network for biosphere reserves in the region.

The group includes young people who live, work or study in Biosphere Reserves and who have demonstrated that they share the commitment to contribute to the sustainable development and conservation of these spaces of inestimable value in terms of biodiversity.

The invitation came from the Mancomunidad de Bosque Seco and UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, which is in charge of designating and periodically reviewing biosphere reserves in 122 countries around the world. The international programme is promoting various initiatives around the world to contribute to the achievement the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, which were adopted by all United Nations Member States. The meeting is sponsored by UNESCO with the support of the Ministries of the Environment of Ecuador and Peru, the Peruvian National Service of Natural Protected Areas by the State, the Mancomunidad de Bosque Seco and the Bosque Seco (Ecuador) and Noroeste Manglares-Amotapes Biosphere Reserves (Peru) that constitute the Bosques de Paz Transboundary Biosphere Reserve.  

Bosques de Paz Biosphere Reserve brings people together across a border that was on the verge of armed conflict just 20 years ago, strengthening fraternal ties of trust and cooperation. Is is a fitting venue to bring youth together from across Ibero-America to discuss positive and concrete actions. It is the first transboundary biosphere reserve established in South America, and one of 20 transboundary biosphere reserves in the world.

In addition to the creation of the regional Youth Network, participants will prepare a Declaration and an Action Plan, which will contain the main points and claims discussed during the four days of meetings, workshops and activities in that will take place in the Biosphere Reserve. The challenge is to ensure that young people lead and be the protagonists of all activities.