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Asia Pacific Co-operation for the sustainable use of renewable natural resources in biosphere reserves and similarly managed areas

Clüsener-Godt, Miguel
Trees 2002 v.16 no.2-3 pp. 230-234
biodiversity, carrying capacity, case studies, catalysts, coasts, cultural heritage, databases, developing countries, education, environmental protection, ethics, foods, forage, forests, humans, information exchange, islands, managers, poverty, research management, scientists, sustainable development, technology transfer, tourism, women, Japan, Latin America
UNESCO has been required by its Member States to assist in implementing the recommendations of the World Conference on Science, held in Budapest in June 1999. In particular, UNESCO should identify national strategies for biodiversity protection in biosphere reserves and similarly managed areas, with special emphasis on coastal areas, small islands and mangroves, South-South technology transfer and intensive training for the management of renewable natural resources in selected case studies throughout specific developing countries. With generous support from the Government of Japan, UNESCO is now implementing the ASPACO project from January 2001 to December 2003, in close collaboration with MAB-Japan, ISME and the UNU. The project emphasises the role of biosphere reserves as catalysts for both conservation and development. The complementary roles of UNESCO, ISME and UNU in scientific issues of nature preservation and sustainable use of natural resources are eminent for action in (1) integrated management and sustainable development of coastal areas, including economic zones, and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage via "ethical tourism"; (2) mangrove forest environmental protection, (3) sustainable use and conservation of renewable natural resources under national jurisdiction; and (4) strengthening international, including regional, co-operation and co-ordination. This project will pay particular attention to those countries having or planning biosphere reserves and to those countries whose governments have strong relations with the MAB of UNESCO. Training, capacity building and increase of local capabilities for research and management of sustainable use of renewable natural resources are key elements of the project. In particular, through the involvement of ISME, the project will promote exchange of information, research results and scientists with respect to preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It will help to disseminate knowledge of comparative research through publications and/or network databases. Within the framework of action for poverty eradication, the project will try to identify how to improve living conditions for the inhabitants of concerned areas as a basic requirement for human security, with special attention to food and fodder production and the rational use of biodiversity for the benefit of local populations. Capacity building for the development of biosphere reserves will be through North-South exchanges; exchange of experience by training of biosphere reserve managers will be through South-South exchanges. This includes strengthening of existing capacities and increase of local capacity for carrying out management, natural resources assessment, research and training, with special emphasis on the education of young women. Project activities will be located in selected countries of the Pacific region, including small islands of the Pacific and the West Coast of Latin America.