Tokyo, Japan, 2-3 March 2018
Within the framework of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme, the Japan Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) project “Biosphere Reserves Interconnected in Diverse Global Environments for Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific (BRIDGES) in AP” aims to promote sustainability science and sustainable economic and social development across the region by strengthening Biosphere Reserves (BR) as a tool for promoting sustainability science. BRIDGES will define and develop a suitable sustainability science-informed approach to BR management with the purpose of improving BR management in Asia and the Pacific, and to encourage the establishment of new BRs in the region with Sustainability Science principles.
The meeting brought together leading biosphere reserve and sustainability science experts from across Asia and the Pacific for two days of knowledge exchange and discussion with the purpose of formulating guidance that will allow for biosphere reserve managers to benefit from the approaches and methodologies in the management of their sites. The resulting publication will serve to improve biosphere reserve management through the application of sustainability science concepts and approaches, and also to encourage the establishment of new BRs in Asia and Pacific region.
A total of 25 participants (10 female) attended this meeting, which comprised of biosphere reserve managers, sustainability science experts, and members of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme National Committees (as well as the former Secretary of the MAB Programme) and biosphere reserve managers from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China (via Skype), Republic of Korea, and Vietnam, as well as local and national Japanese stakeholders. The local and national stakeholders comprised of representatives from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), AEON Environmental Foundation, Kanzawa University, United Nations University (UNU), Minakami Town, and University of Tokyo students.
The meeting resulted in the development of an initial draft framework emphasizing the importance of policy integration, legal recognition, professional development, periodic reviews, partnerships, collaboration, networking, and the integration of existing MAB-related frameworks such as the new MAB Strategy (2016-2025), the Lima Action Plan, as well as the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals into the final document.
A final draft of the framework will be presented during the upcoming 11th South East Asia Biosphere Reserve Network (SeaBRnet) meeting hosted by the Government of Thailand in Chiang Mai, Thailand 21-25 May 2017. During this meeting, a special session of the Asia-Pacific Biosphere Reserve Network (APBRN) will be convened. Based on the feedback received from this session, the standard framework is expected to be finalized by July 2018 in time for the MAB International Coordinating Council session to be held in Palembang, Indonesia, during 23-27 July 2018.