A successful 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves took place in Lima, Peru, last month. UK Man and Biosphere (MAB) Committee Chair, Professor Martin Price, joined over 1000 delegates from 105 countries to finalise the Action Plan for the MAB Programme for the next decade.
The Lima Action Plan was developed by the MAB Strategy Group. Professor Price, who also coordinates the UK’s UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development based at the University of the Highlands and Islands, acted in the key role of Rapporteur.
The Action Plan, endorsed by the Congress and subsequently adopted by the International Coordinating Council of the MAB Programme (MAB-ICC), sets out priorities for UNESCO Member States to use the World Network of Biosphere Reserves to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through biodiversity conservation, sustainability science, policy, education and outreach.
Professor Price said of the Congress:
“This was the first global meeting of the MAB Programme held outside Europe. Its main focus was on finalising the Action Plan and, through 21 workshops and 14 side events, discussing how to implement it. Many innovative activities were proposed.
There are now 669 Biosphere Reserves in 120 countries worldwide; our key challenge is how they, and MAB’s regional and thematic networks, will contribute to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, both bringing local benefits and contributing to national targets.
Over the next months, the UK MAB Committee will develop its own Action Plan to contribute to this global process”.
Building on the 10-year MAB Strategy approved by the MAB-ICC and UNESCO’s General Conference in 2015, the Action Plan aims to ensure the effective implementation of the Strategy which, at its heart, looks to build a world where people are conscious of their common future and interaction with our planet, and act collectively and responsibly to build thriving societies in harmony within the biosphere.