Workshop to improve the governance of biosphere reserves

Mar de Alborán

Improving the governance in the Maghreb region by the reinforcement of the stakeholders and managers of biosphere reserve capacities.


The UNESCO « Man and the Biosphere » Programme (MAB) is a joint effort between the worldwide scientific communities to study the relations between man and environment.
Biosphere reserves have been created under the frame of MAB Programme ; Since its launching in the 70’s, 580 biosphere reserves have been created in 114 countries. These biosphere reserves are sites established by the countries themselves, and recognized by the UNESCO MBA Program in order to promote a sustainable development based on efforts made by the local communities and relevant scientific knowledge. These sites are probationary zones for new practices and progress in a harmonious management of partnerships between nature and human activities. In the Maghreb region, there are nowadays 13 biosphere reserves spread as follows: 4 in Tunisia, 6 in Algeria and 3 in Morocco.

Biosphere reserves are facing several threats, among which we can count the lack of the MAB programme implementation at the national level in the Maghreb region. In addition of these challenges, the new adaptation policy occurring in the region will certainly drive to new models of governance that must be taken into account in the national decision process and into the regional agenda of conservation organizations as IUCN. This will give an added value to the conservation expert’s community and will reinforce the cross-border cooperation at two levels: the institutional level, and the sites level.

As a contribution to take up the challenge and favor a dialogue between the national and local stakeholders of the Maghreb region, the IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation and OAPN are planning to organize in early 2012 a workshop to improve the biosphere reserves governance.
This workshop will be the first one of a succession of events and activities, aiming to rise to the challenges that biodiversity and natural resources management have to face. These efforts are made in order to guarantee a sustainable development and to favor the dialogue for North-South and South-South partnerships, at the institutional level as well as the human one.

Objectives of the Workshop

• To reinforce the stakeholders and biosphere reserves managers’ capacities, in the fields of management, governance and application of the MAB programme provisions.
• To favor dialogue and cooperation at the national and regional levels, in order to face the challenges that the biosphere reserves have to face, and to guarantee a better use of the financial and technical opportunities available.
Programme of the workshop
So as to reach the workshop’s goals, 3 principal components will be developed :

a. Development and Governance 
b. New spaces for civil society involvement within protected areas. 
c. Biosphere Reserves as laboratories for social development
d. Public management, Good Governance and transparency

2. Technique :
a. Man and Biosphere Programme
b. Assessment of Maghreb biosphere reserves today’s situation
c. Improve the management efficiency into the Maghreb MAB reserves 
d. Particularities of the UNESCO programme and perspectives.

a. Judicial and institutional frameworks
b. At the national level, who is in charge of the biosphere reserves management?
c. Role of the MAB national committees and confines
d. Biosphere reserves into the national judicial framework.
e. Principal provisions of the MAB programme which must be implemented
f. Examples and particular cases

Duration: 4-8 March 2012 in Morocco

Partners and Donors :

Unesco Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the Autonomous organism for the National Parks of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. 

Plus d'info: Carla Danelutti

IUCN-Med receives core financial support from the Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucia, the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) among others

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