The Southeast Asian Biosphere Reserve (SeaBRnet) held its first online meeting on 16 July 2020. The event served as a platform for the SeaBRnet community to share stories of the impacts of Covid-19 on their sites, offer ideas and solutions for how to return to a new – and better – normal, and help communities across the region from the impacts of future crises.
The webinar was moderated by Hans Thulstrup of UNESCO Jakarta and featured speakers from Man and Biosphere (MAB) National Committee of Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia as well as expert from Japan. The valuable experiences were also shared by a representative of the Utwe Bioshere Reserve in the Federated State of Micronesia in the Central Pacific on the activities conducted in their BR.
The discussion concluded that this pandemic has changed the lives of everyone – however that Biosphere Reserves are well placed to provide practical solutions to the post-pandemic world on issues such as reviving local economies through targeted development and delivery of locally-based goods and services while ensuring the protection of biodiversity.
Government representative of West Nusa Tenggara Province, gave closing remarks by reiterated the commitment from local government to be the host of upcoming 13th SeaBRnet meeting, which is now scheduled to November 2020, subject to the condition of the pandemic. The Government of West Nusa Tenggara is also preparing all tourist destinations to be ready for the New Normal. Lastly, West Nusa Tenggara - as home of two biosphere reserves of Saleh Moyo Tambora and Mount Rinjani, and Rinjani-Lombok geopark site- is welcoming the network to come and visit the sites.
During the meeting, UNESCO Jakarta shared link of e-publications related to the management of Biosphere Reserve titled Sustainability Science; Eco-labelling and Certification; and Legal Aspects of Biosphere Reserve Zonation.
This meeting welcomed 122 participants, 60% of which are women, from not only from Southeast Asian countries but from other countries such as France, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Palau and Spain. Most participants are involved in Biosphere Reserve management, local governments, research and/or higher education. The meeting was recorded and can be accessed through the UNESCO Jakarta facebook page.
The e-publications can be accessed here: