Strengthening collaboration between biosphere reserves in the Mediterranean

The UNESCO International Centre on Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) organized a seminar on September 29th 2016, to which many UAB Masters students from several countries were invited. The event took place in the UNESCO Centre located within the premises of the Abertis Foundation in Castellet i la Gornal, Barcelona. The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) was invited to share its main findings from his compared study of biosphere reserves in the Mediterranean. This study was done in 2015, in the framework of a partnership between the Autonomous organism for National Parks in Spain and IUCN-Med.

UAB presentation

During the inauguration,  the General Secretary of Abertis, Sr. Josep Mª Coronas highlighted the importance of the UNESCO Centre as a platform to foster collaboration between Biosphere Reserves managers and decision makers in Northern and Southern parts of the Mediterranean. Keynote speakers such as Drs. Jordina Belmonte, Director of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) from UAB, Dr. Martí Boada, Scientific Director of the UNESCO Centre, Dra. Roser Maneja, Professor at ICTA-UAB and Sra. Georgina Flamme, Manager of Albertis Foundation, underlined the need to strengthen the capacities of biosphere reserves through the development of a Mediterranean Network. This Network, which is currently under establishment, will contribute in bridging North and South biosphere reserves, and in increasing their role in biodiversity conservation and in sustainable development.    

This first Centre of the MAB Programme under UNESCO auspices was established in November 2013 and was officially inaugurated in April 2014. It serves as a model for scientific cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean and provides an excellent platform of information exchange and sharing on all issues related to biosphere reserves and their sustainable development.

The Centre, which is closely collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment and its National Parks Autonomous Agency (OAPN), is the first of its kind, combining public engagement and private financial support under UNESCO’s auspices. 

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