The main purpose of the initiative "Biosphere reserves as a climate change observatory and sustainable development laboratory in the Arab and African region" (AABRI) is to ensure that the biosphere reserves of the Arab and African region present a Climate Change Observatory while grouping models of sustainable development, to constitute a framework of sharing and animation for the stakeholders in sustainable development and observing the impacts of climate change in biosphere reserves.
It will allow the sharing of data from different biosphere reserves or other related sources in order to share relevant information and communicate good practices. It will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030) in biosphere reserves and elsewhere, through the global diffusion of sustainability models developed in these sustainable territories.
It was officially launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP23, during a special event at the Morocan pavilion. This launch marks the beginning of an operationalization process of the AABRI initiative. It was also an opportunity for Morocco to reafirm its commitment to be the host country of the the initiative and to provide the secretariat alongside UNESCO and ISESCO.
This initiative brings together the efforts of two major UNESCO programmes: the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), as the water sector is at the heart of the initiative. It was first discussed during the first joint Arab-African meeting IHP- MAB: "First Joint Arab / African IHP and MAB Meeting: Towards COP 22 and SDGs", in Tangier-Morocco from 18 to 20 October 2016 and the "call of Tangier " launched at the COP22 in Marrakech in November 2016.