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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05PARIS5478
2005-08-12 11:29:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Paris
Cable title:  

USUNESCO: MEETING OF MAN AND BIOSPHERE

Tags:   AORC  TSPL  EAID  SENV  FR  UNESCO  KSCI 
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						UNCLAS PARIS 005478 

SIPDIS

FROM USMISSION UNESCO

STATE FOR IO/UNESCO JANE COWLEY, OES/STAS ANDREW W.
REYNOLDS, OES BARRIE RIPIN, OES ANTOINETTE CONDO
STATE FOR USAID NORMAN RIFKIN
STATE FOR NSC GENE WHITNEY
STATE FOR NASA ELIZABETH WILLIAMS, RON BIRK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC TSPL EAID SENV FR UNESCO KSCI
SUBJECT: USUNESCO: MEETING OF MAN AND BIOSPHERE
(MAB) PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR FRESH STRATEGY,
INCREASED STRESS ON HYDROLOGY AND RESEARCH

UNCLAS PARIS 005478

SIPDIS

FROM USMISSION UNESCO

STATE FOR IO/UNESCO JANE COWLEY, OES/STAS ANDREW W.
REYNOLDS, OES BARRIE RIPIN, OES ANTOINETTE CONDO
STATE FOR USAID NORMAN RIFKIN
STATE FOR NSC GENE WHITNEY
STATE FOR NASA ELIZABETH WILLIAMS, RON BIRK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC TSPL EAID SENV FR UNESCO KSCI
SUBJECT: USUNESCO: MEETING OF MAN AND BIOSPHERE
(MAB) PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR FRESH STRATEGY,
INCREASED STRESS ON HYDROLOGY AND RESEARCH


1. Summary and introduction: the agenda of the June
27-29 meeting of the bureau of the international
coordinating council of the man and biosphere (MAB)
program focused on management of biosphere reserves,
including those that are also world heritage sites.
Under MAB's current short-term strategy, minimal
change in programs is expected, except in response
to budgetary limitations. MAB leadership is
readying the development of the next medium term
strategy, to involve interdisciplinary initiatives
(especially with water sciences), increased
research, and review of existing sites. The
consensus is that the program needs updating and
reinvigorating. End summary and introduction.

MAB meeting stresses future links with water
sciences


2. In his opening remarks to the MAB bureau council
meeting, Andras Szollosi-Nagy (executive secretary
of unesco's international hydrological program)
called for closer interaction between UNESCO
programs in water - the principal priority of the
science sector - and earth and ecological sciences.
Szollosi-Nagy noted plans for a meeting in Mexico in
2006 to discuss coordination strategies for Ramsar,
world heritage and biosphere reserves with respect
to hydrological research programs. In his remarks,
earth sciences division director Natarajan Ishwaran
emphasized the need for closer coordination of
hydrological issues at biosphere reserves. MAB
should promote a proactive approach to biosphere
reserve management, allowing for economic
development while safeguarding the environment. As
an example, Ishwaran cited a proposed eco-hydrology
center in Poland, a potential model for similar
centers in Argentina and Indonesia. Both Szollosi-
Nagy and Ishwaran advocated increased MAB focus on
research.

MAB seeks strategy for site review, data collection


3. Evoking MAB's future thematic focus, Ishwaran
indicated that the program would primarily focus its
work on biodiversity, climate change and
sustainability-related activities in response to the
millennium ecosystem assessment findings.


4. Operationally, the MAB bureau added 23 new
biosphere reserves - to the nearly 500 existing
sites -- including one transboundary reserve with a
world heritage site, the Senegal river delta
(includes the Djoudj). The secretariat stressed the
importance of periodic 10-year reviews of existing
reserves, advocating a consistent review strategy
based on a set of pertinent indicators; new baseline
data would be required. Such a strategy would
entail partnerships with space agencies; it would
dovetail well with an increased emphasis on research
at biosphere sites. Also discussed was the
archipelago reserve concept, proposed by Mexico as a
means of addressing problems of managing a
fragmented protected area; participants requested
further study of this idea.


5. The MAB bureau meeting was also a chance to
review progress. Regional council members presented
updates on MAB regional projects, all of which
highlighted multi-disciplinary networking between
bio scientists and policy makers. During the past
year, the MAB program has organized regional
conferences and workshops on biodiversity in
marine/coastal, transboundary, urban, dryland
ecosystems and tropical forests. Ishwaran
highlighted capacity building efforts, activities
that he said need to be expanded.


6. Comment. We will continue to monitor this
sensitive program and provide periodic reports.