For more biosphere reserves and stronger MAB programme in Central Asia: capacity building workshop in Almaty

24 May 2019

UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty together with the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) Secretariat in Paris, in partnership with the MAB National Committee of Kazakhstan, is organizing a Sub-regional Capacity Building Workshop for Central Asia Countries on MAB Programme to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 28 - 31 May 2019.

This workshop will bring together MAB National Committees, managers of biosphere reserves (BR), key nature protection stakeholders, including representatives of government entities, academia and research institutions, as well as other relevant partners from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The MAB Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) with 686 biosphere reserves in 122 countries constitutes an important and valuable platform and instrument for research and experimentation on the ground, building knowledge on practice-based sustainable development and sharing it globally.

Among Central Asian countries, the distribution of the biosphere reserves is very uneven, with Kazakhstan having the largest number of BRs - 10, Kyrgyzstan - 2, Uzbekistan 1 and none in Tajikistan. And despite the fact that the WNBR is having increased importance throughout the world as a major tool for implementing the SDGs at local level, the countries of Central Asia still lack the capacities to deliver on the implementation of MAB Pogramme principles and use BRs as models for SDG implementation, and some do not have a UNESCO biosphere reserve yet. Moreover, some work is still needed to fully implement the concept of the Programme within the existing BRs in the region in order for them to become fully functional and obtain proper recognition at national and regional levels, as well as gain more visibility. Therefore, it is timely to hold a sub-regional workshop on MAB programme in order to support the countries in CA in promoting MAB at its full extent in this sub-region.

The workshop aims at sharing information on achievements of MAB Programme in CA countries by exchanging practices and experiences, and discussing the challenges of the Programme and the biosphere reserves. The meeting will foster knowledge and collaboration within MAB, as well as provide with training on nomination and reporting procedures on biosphere reserves. Subsequently, the workshop will enhance capacities of countries to establish and manage their biosphere reserves. It will promote the networking within the MAB community in Central Asia.

UNESCOs Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

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