During this meeting, the MAB Bureau will examine propositions from 21 countries, of which El Salvador, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will present sites for the first time. Those selected will join a network that currently includes 507 biosphere reserves in 102 countries.
The Bureau will also select up to ten winners of the 2008 MAB Young Scientists Awards that encourage young researchers to conduct interdisciplinary projects on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity. It will also choose the winner of the Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management, as well as the winner of the biennial Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation.
The members of the Bureau will also review the ongoing preparations for the 3rd World Congress of Biosphere Reserves to be held in Madrid (Spain) from 4-9 February, 2008. The Congress will evaluate the progress of the MAB Programme since the last World Congress in Seville (1995), define the main challenges for the future and elaborate an Action Plan for 2008-2012.
The MAB Programme was launched in 1970 to improve the connection between people and their environment. The Programme’s International Coordination Council is made up of representatives from 34 UNESCO Member States. The Bureau consists of the Chair and the five Vice-Chairs, representing all geographical regions.
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