Basseterre, St. Kitts – October 11th, 2018. UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province organized the 6th Training Course for Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserve Managers from October 1 to 3, 2018 in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. The overall aim of the training course was to share experiences and build capacities between and among Biosphere Reserve (BR) managers in their adaptation to climate change to achieve sustainable development
Activities over the three days included presentations by UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme experts, country presentations, training on marketing and branding, and a tour of the self-governing province of Jeju Island.
Represented at the training course were Biopshere Reserve Managers from South Africa, Yemen, St. Kitts and Nevis, Cuba, Mozambique, Jeju Island (South Korea) Indonesia, China and Russia.
MAB Coordinator, Ms. Markysa O’Loughlin said, “St. Kitts and Nevis will benefit tremendously from the themes and concepts discussed in the training course. The course was succinct, yet packed with knowledge.”
She expressed great confidence in the capacity-building opportunities arising from the workshop to ensure that she is better equipped to develop and advance the goals of the SMBR.
“I was pleased to share and learn from my colleagues across the globe with very similar experiences. This programme matters to each of us because of our high vulnerability to extreme weather patterns as Small Island Developing States. Biosphere Reserves also serve as an excellent model for land use planning and a mechanism to economically empower our people in a way that is environmentally sustainable.,” she commented.
Biosphere reserves are terrestrial and coastal areas that promote sustainable development and act as learning sites where new and optimal practices to manage nature and human activities are tested and demonstrated, which will also be used by UNESCO as tools for innovative projects to add value to local socio-economic activities. The UNESCO MAB programme combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods while safeguarding natural and managed ecosystems to promote economic development that is environmentally sustainable.
The UNESCO SMBR is the only Biosphere Reserve in the English-Speaking Caribbean. It encompasses the communities of Canada Estate, Keys, Cayon and Ottleys, representing a population of 4,000 residents. The St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve has three interrelated zones that aim to fulfil three complementary and mutually reinforcing functions:
- The core area(s) comprises a strictly protected ecosystem that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation.
- The buffer zone surrounds or adjoins the core areas and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.
- The transition area is the part of the reserve where the greatest activity is allowed, fostering economic and human development that is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable.
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