Saturday, November 12, 2005

UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Program

Click here to go to the MAB Program website.

"UNESCO’s Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) develops the basis, within the natural and the social sciences, for the sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity, and for the improvement of the relationship between people and their environment globally.

"The MAB Programme encourages interdisciplinary research, demonstration and training in natural resource management. MAB contributes thus not only to better understanding of the environment, including global change, but to greater involvement of science and scientists in policy development concerning the wise use of biological diversity.

"Over the next decades, MAB is focusing on new approaches for facilitating sustainable development, through promoting conservation and wise use of biodiversity. By taking advantage of the transdisciplinary and cross-cultural opportunities of UNESCO’s mandate in the fields of education, science, culture and communication, MAB is promoting both scientific research and information gathering, as well as linking with traditional knowledge about resource use. It must serve to help implement Agenda 21 and related Conventions, in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity."

The International Co-ordinating Council of the MAB Program, the ICC, is composed of 34 elected representatives of Member States of UNESCO. The are:

Austria** Belarus* Chile** Congo** Cuba** Czech Republic* Dem. People's Rep. of Korea* Denmark* Dominica* Ethiopia** Gabon** Germany* Ghana* Israel** Italy* Lebanon** Mexico* Mozambique* Myanmar* Nicaragua* Nigeria* Peru* Philippines** Republic of Korea* Romania** Russian Federation* Saudi Arabia* Sri Lanka* Sudan** Sweden** Syrian Arab Republic** United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland** United Republic of Tanzania* Vietnam**

* Members until 34th session of the General Conference, 2007
** Members until 35th session of the General Conference, 2009

Many nations, including the United States, have organized MAB National Committees. Such a committee is responsible for the activities making up the national contribution of a country to the MAB program.

· In co-operation with the UNESCO National Commissions, it serves as a liaison between the different institutions and ministries concerned by the MAB Programme and UNESCO (MAB Secretariat, Division of Ecological Sciences and field offices).
· It also serves to liaise with the national structures responsible for the other UNESCO programmes in environment and development, i.e. the IGCP, IHP, IOC and MOST, with a view to develop joint activities, as appropriate.
· It ensures the national participation, as a member or as an observer, whenever appropriate, in the sessions of the MAB International Co-ordinating Council.

The United States' MAB National Committee is chaired by Dr Barbara Weber of the USDA Forest Service.

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