25- 27 April, Thimphu: The Nature Conservation Division under Department of Forests and Park Services in collaboration with Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO under Ministry of Education and UNESCO New Delhi office organised the Ninth South Asia and Central Asia Man and Biosphere Network (SACAM) meeting in Thimphu with the theme “Citizen Science in Biosphere Reserves”.
The first two day of the meeting focused on introduction to MAB, sharing of experiences and opportunities from Biosphere Reserve network in South and Central Asia. The third day will be field visit to Bhutan’s proposed MAB site at Lampelri Royal Botanical Park.
The meeting was inaugurated by Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, UN Resident Coordinator Mr Gerald Daly and senior government officials. The 2019 SACAM meeting seeks to build regional capacity in Biosphere Reserve (BR) management through sharing of experiences of member BR; raising awareness with interested participating states without BR; and explore opportunities and strategies for citizen science in fulfilling the logistic function.
The participants for SACAM meeting are MAB focal points, BR managers from the eight SACAM member countries (Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan and Bhutan), observer from non-member country, MAB resource person from UNESCO and other MAB regions, representative from ICIMOD and national stakeholders.
This meeting provided an opportunity to share Man and Biosphere approaches to conservation and sustainable development in different ecological systems, different cultures, and different socio-economic conditions and this will be a learning experience for the member countries.
For Bhutan, the meeting was expected to have a better understanding of the process of nomination of a biosphere reserve and also about the ways of managing a biosphere reserve and the types of activities that take place in biosphere reserves to achieve the expected goals as Bhutan is in the process of designation of its first biosphere reserve.
Submitted by NCD with Photos by Choidup Zangpo, ICTD
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