SeaWiFS Global Biosphere September 1997 – August 1998; This composite image gives an indication of the magnitude and distribution of global primary production, of both oceanic (mg/m3chlorophyll a) and terrestrial (normalized difference land vegetation index), see Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NVDI) / Public Domain

New Biosphere Reserves will be designated during the forthcoming annual session of the International Coordinating Council (ICC) of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme on 19 June at UNESCO’s Headquarters.

The 34-member MAB-ICC, is the governing body of the intergovernmental MAB Programme, established in 1971 to establish a scientific basis to improve relationships between people and their environments and contribute to sustainable development. It will hold its 31st session in Paris from 17 to 21 June.

Participants will review recent developments concerning the Programme and examine applications to join the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which currently numbers 686 sites in 122 countries, including 20 transboundary sites. Biosphere reserves are sites of recognized importance for conservation of biological and cultural diversity that aim to foster positive social transformations and to work as instruments of practical implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through voluntary engagement.

During the session, the ICC will also announce the laureates of the MAB Young Scientists Awards and of the Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management.

A number of side events will also take place during the session:

  • 17 June, 12.40-1.15pm, opening of two exhibitions, “Our Biosphere, Our Future. Local Actions for the Sustainable Development Goals” and “Forest Art in Biosphere Reserves and in Natural Protected Areas”
  • 19 June, 6.15 to 7 pm, presentation of exhibition on biosphere reserves’ goods and service
  • 20 June, 3pm to 4.15 pm, panel on biosphere reserves and peace, organized by the Republic of Korea and the MAB Programme
  • 20 June, 6pm, Jane Goodall Institute presentation on 60 years of research at the Gombe Masito Ugalla Biosphere Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) and environmental conservation initiatives at the site, followed by roundtable discussion.

Editor’s Note: As we go to publication, I am awaiting a response from UNESCO on how you might register or get tickets to this event should you be interested.  I’ll incorporate that info into this post when it comes in, so check back later. Thank you! / J.D.

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