A sub-regional workshop on the Management Effectiveness Pathways (MEPs) for Biosphere Reserves in the Arab Region, was held from 25th until 27th of July 2022 at Ajloun Nature Reserve in Jordan. The first edition of the workshop organized by the Ecology and Earth Sciences Programme at UNESCO Cairo Office, brought together biosphere managers from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
The objective of the three-day workshop was to highlight the role that biosphere reserves can play as learning spaces offering optimal approaches for the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and upscale the lessons learned and implementation models from local to national and regional levels. The event featured sessions presenting UNESCO Management Effectiveness Toolkit developed in 2020/2021 for biosphere reserves in the Arab region and Technical Guidelines for Biosphere Reserves. It offered the space for hands-on training on the use of indicators and tool in the scope of revisiting and evaluating the existing management plans of El Omayed, Wadi Allaqi, Shouf, Dana, Wadi Mujib, Juzur farasan and Wadi Wurayeh Wurayeh Biosphere Reserves as well as potential sites from Oman and Saudi Arabia. The sixteen participants discussed their research agenda in and their monitoring programme in alignment with the management plans that will be updated. The new dimension brought in the sub-regional workshop is that monitoring programmes will not be framed by the wildlife perse but they will integrate the social and economic dimensions of biosphere reserves. Biosphere managers presented the headlines of their Research Agenda and Monitoring and Evaluation Portfolio and exposed the BR Management Plan General Framework (BR-MPGF) 2023-2027. The group dynamic was interactive with participation from all participants which brought an added value to each BRs presentation.
The outcomes of this first edition of the MEP-ArabMAB include a research portfolio, M&E programmes, and BR-MPGF 2023-2027. All three documents are contextualized to the uniqueness of the each of the biosphere reserve from the 6 participating countries.
The workshop included opening remarks and presentations about the Man and The Biosphere (MAB) Programme, the World Network of Biosphere Reserve, the ArabMAB Network latest news and activities, the guidelines for the effective management pathways, and the Biosphere Reserves designation process by Dr. Elsa Sattout - Programme Specialist, Ecology and Earth Sciences. On the other hand, Dr. Manal Fawzy - Chairman of the MAB committee in Egypt, presented the TGBR.
Stay tuned with us for the second edition of the sub-regional workshop on MEP-ArabMAB network.