The 10th Southeast Asia Biosphere Reserves Network (SeaBRnet) Meeting


Interaction among UNESCO Programmes toward the Sustainable Development of Biosphere Reserves
16 – 17 May 2017
Jakarta, Indonesia


The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, launched in 1971, is an intergovernmental scientific programme aiming to set a scientific basis for the improvement of the relationships between people and their environment globally. The programme is based in its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), Biosphere Reserves (BR) being the living laboratories for sustainable development, which promote an integrated approach towards sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science. The WNBR currently counts 669 sites in 120 countries all over the world.

The 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves, held in March 2016 in Lima, Peru, focused on “A New Vision for the Decade 2016-2025. UNESCO Biosphere Reserves for Sustainable Development” and aimed to assess lessons learned and new challenges to be faced by the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), as well as develop and launch the Lima Action Plan (LAP) for Biosphere Reserves for 2016-2025 following the MAB Strategy 2015-2025. Experts discussed progress and obstacles related to BRs issues and worked together to settle the new vision of MAB which will contribute to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and its SDGs. The Congress ended with the adoption of the Lima Declaration and the new ten-year Action Plan for UNESCO’s MAB Programme and its WNBR.

Locally, MAB National Committees and MAB networks are strongly encouraged to prepare their own strategies and national action plans using the MAB Strategy and LAP as the key points of reference. These should be founded in national and regional realities and imperatives and will contribute both to addressing these and to implementing the LAP at the global level. The UNESCO Regional Sciences Bureau for Asia and the Pacific swiftly followed up the encouragement and organized an international event in Wakatobi BR, Indonesia, in June 2016, to discuss on the role of local governments in the management of BRs and the implementation of LAP. The Wakatobi Recommendations to strengthen the role of local governments were produced.

In July 2016, the 3rd Asia Pacific Biosphere Reserves Network (APBRN) Strategic Meeting took place in Bali, Indonesia, within the regional sciences event “Fostering Collaboration between UNESCO in the Field and Networks towards the Agenda 2030”. The need for collaboration and establishment of strong synergies between UNESCO Natural Science programmes were highly underlined as a major recommendation from participants representing the MAB Programme, the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme (IGGP) and the International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP).

SeaBRnet Participants
The next step in the implementation of the LAP in the region was this 10th Southeast Asia Biosphere Reserves Network (SeaBRnet) Meeting, which was organized by UNESCO Office, Jakarta in May 2017 in Jakarta, with generous support from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust. The 10th SeaBRnet Meeting gathered together around 50 representatives from MAB stakeholders in Southeast Asia, including National Committees and BR managers, but also IHP and UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp) representatives, under the theme of “Interaction among UNESCO Programmes toward the Sustainable Development of Biosphere Reserves”.

Time Agenda Speakers & Download Materials
Day 1 – Tuesday, 16 May 2017
 09.00 – 09.30  Opening Session

  • Mr Arief Rahman, Executive Chair, Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO
  • Ms Enny Sudarmonowati, Chair of Indonesian MAB National Committee
  • Mr Kazuaki Kawabata, Secretary-General, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO (video message)
  • Mr Hans Thulstrup, on behalf of Director UNESCO Office, Jakarta and SeaBRnet Secretariat
 09.30 – 10.30 Keynote Speech

  1. Roles and challenges of local implementation for UNESCO science program: A case of Japanese BRs
  2. ASEAN’s Priority Actions to Achieve Aichi Biodiversity Targets: The ASEAN Heritage Parks and Protected Area Management
Chair : Mr. Hans Thulstrup, UNESCO

 11.00 – 12.20 Country Reports (Part 1)

  1. Cambodia
  2. Indonesia
  3. Malaysia
  4. Myanmar
Chair: Mr Dao Huy Giap, MAB Vietnam

 14.00 – 15.15 Country Reports (Part 2)

  1. Philippines
  2. Thailand
  3. Timor Leste
  4. Vietnam
Chair : Mr. Anang, MAB Indonesia

 15.15 – 15.45 Discussion
Biosphere Reserves as models for sustainable development
 Moderator: Mr Hans Thulstrup, UNESCO
 16.15 – 17.35 Interaction among UNESCO Programmes

  • UNESCO Global Geoparks :
    • 1. Asia Pacific Geoparks Network
    • 2. Local engagement and the networking of geopark activities in Japan
  • World Heritage:
    • 3. Ifugao Rice Terraces, The Philippines
  • International Hydrological Programme:
    • 4. UNESCO Regional Sciences Bureau and the IHP
    • (5.)
Chair: Mr. Yoshihiko Iida, UNU-IAS OUIK


 17.35 – 18.15 Discussion
Interaction among UNESCO programmes
Moderator: Ms Ai Sugiura, UNESCO
(5.) Additional slides: Ecohydrology as New Approach for Facing Water Problem in Asia Pacific Region by Mr Ignasius Sutapa, Asia Pacific Center for Ecohydrology (APCE)
 Day 2 – Wednesday 17 May 2017
09.00 – 09.15 Recap Day 1 & Intro Day 2
Summary of discussions and expectations
09.15 – 09.30 Sustainability Science
UNESCO Sustainability Science frameworks from Asia and the Pacific region
09:30 – 10:30 Lima Action Plan in Southeast Asia
Breakout group discussions on the development of national action plans
11:00 – 12:00 Lima Action Plan in Southeast Asia
Presentation of groups
Final Conclusions
12:00 – 12:30 Way forward and Closing
Mr Hans Thulstrup, on behalf of SeaBRnet Secretariat


  • Gather together representatives from MAB National Committees, Biosphere Reserves managers and key actors, MAB experts and other MAB related stakeholders form Southeast Asia.
  • Gather the above mentioned MAB Family with other UNESCO relevant stakeholders such as scientists or key actors from the networks of International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the UNESCO Global Geoparks, and the World Heritages.
  • Share local and regional experiences in Biosphere Reserves from Southeast Asia.
  • Discuss key issues related to a joint contribution for promoting BRs to serve as models for sustainable development, through sharing the experiences from other UNESCO programmes.
  • Agree on a regional strategy for developing MAB national action plans to facilitate the implementation of the Lima Action Plan in Southeast Asia region.



Around 50 participants from Southeast Asia attended the meeting, including international and local participants. Invitees include representatives from:

  • MAB National Committees
  • BR managers
  • MAB related key stakeholders
  • IHP representatives
  • UGG representatives
  • WH representatives


Contact Information

Mr. Hans Thulstrup
Senior Programme Specialist for Natural Sciences
UNESCO Office in Jakarta, Regional Sciences Bureau for Asia and the Pacific
E-mail: h.thulstrup[at]

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