In Ulaanbaatar and the Hustain Nuruu Biosphere Reserve, Mongolia, more than 50 representatives of the East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network from all seven Member Countries (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation) as well as experts from the Ministry of Environment and Green Development of Mongolia, the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Office in Beijing met for the network’s 13th meeting during 21-25 October 2013. Participants reviewed activities undertaken by network members during 2012 and 2013, presented scientific papers and reported on local, national and regional activities under the theme "Biological and Social Consequences of Global Change".
Resulting from a series of intensive presentation sessions, discussions and field inspections, the participants,
Extended special thanks and appreciation to the hosts of the meeting, the Mongolian National MAB Committee, the Hustain Nuruu and Bogd Khan Uul Biosphere Reserves, the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO and the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Green Development. Participants also extended their appreciation to the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea National MAB Committee for their continued professional and financial support to the EABRN, and the UNESCO Office in Beijing for its coordinating role;
Commended member countries on their active pursuit of new biosphere reserve nominations – including transboundary nominations - and ongoing review of biosphere reserves nominated prior to the adoption of the Seville Strategy;
Congratulated Kazakhstan on its attendance as the newest member country of EABRN;
Congratulated the management of the Hustain Nuruu Biosphere Reserve on the successful organization of a field evaluation and on its achievements in conservation and sustainable tourism development, and made a number of recommendations for the further implementation of the biosphere reserve concept at Hustain Nuruu;
Acknowledged the significant and diverse impacts of global change on the network’s biosphere reserves, stressing the need for EABRN to facilitate training opportunities for biosphere reserve managers focusing on adaptation approaches and techniques; and called for the harmonization of the monitoring of climate change impacts on ecosystems in EABRN;
Identified the legislative status and context of biosphere reserves as essential in determining the successful implementation of the recommendations of the Madrid Action Plan, and called for further consideration of improved legislation through focused exchange of experience between the national and local contexts in the EABRN countries;
Underlined the continuing need for enhanced exchange and sharing of experiences on Biosphere Reserve management among the seven member countries through their National MAB Committees, relevant national and local partners, and biosphere reserve managers, and called for the development of a best practices toolkit based on concrete examples from biosphere reserves in the region;
Encouraged recent and ongoing steps to revitalize and extend transboundary and site-to-site cooperation between existing biosphere reserves and MAB committees, including the signing of agreements in support of joint research and management activities, and made several practical proposals to further stimulate this process making use of UNESCO networks where relevant;
Considered the prospects for an Asia-Pacific MAB network, taking note that collaboration through focused subregional and thematic networks provide the best possible basis from which to conduct practical transboundary and joint activities; and encouraged further integration between networks through the organization of joint meetings and mutual participation in network events at all levels.
Congratulated the China National MAB Committee on the successful organization of the Changbai Mountain International Ecological Forum (CMIEF) in September 2013, at which two representatives of EABRN (Russia and the Republic of Korea) were presented with Conservation Awards by the China National MAB Committee. Participants encouraged China to organize further international forums, and took note of agreements signed between the Sikhote-Aline and Changbaishan biosphere reserves and between the China and Russia National MAB Committees.
Agreed on the following decisions of the Ad-Hoc Steering Committee meeting of the EABRN:
• DPR Korea was selected as first priority to host the 14th meeting of the EABRN and indicated its willingness to organize the event in 2015.
• Japan was selected as second priority to host the 14th meeting of the EABRN and indicated its willingness to organize the event in the Shiga Highlands Biosphere Reserve in 2015.
• The theme of the 14th meeting will be determined by the host country after consultation with the EABRN Secretariat.
• China was selected as host for the 6th training EABRN course to be held in 2014, with the tentative theme of “Drawing on scientific and traditional knowledge for climate change adaptation in biosphere reserves”.
Ulaanbaatar, 24 October 2013
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