The Organisation of the European Capital of Culture PAFOS2017, in the context of the Akamas Project, organised a successful open conference entitled:

UNESCO MAB Programme (Man and Biosphere) for Protected Areas. Benefits and Perspectives

“Humans and Nature Together for Sustainable Development”

The conference took place on Friday, 24th of February 2017, between 9:30 – 15:00, at Droushia Heights Hotel in Droushia. The conference had a European dimension in terms of participation and it hosted a large number of people from the Akamas’ local communities and other stakeholders.

The main speakers, Prof Michael Scoullos, Chairman Greek National Committee MAB/UNESCO, Director UNESCO Chair UoAthens, Chairman MIO-ECSDE and Dr Philippe Pypaert, Programme Specialist at the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice), presented the programme, the benefits and the perspectives for the regions that are designated as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, highlighting the dynamic relationship between people and nature in the Biosphere Reserves and how it contributes to the sustainable development of communities.

Representatives from the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Greece, also participated in the conference presenting their BRs. Dr Petros Lymberakis, President of the Samaria National Park and Jamie Giannaka, representative of the Olympus National Park, presented the management and good practices of their reserves, aiming to conserve the natural and human environment and to support the local sustainable development.

Two important contributions to the conference were from Italy, the one of Dr Marco Valle, from the relatively new Biosphere Reserve, Collina Po (2016), near Torino in North Italy, which it includes 85 municipalities and 1.5 million inhabitants and the second one of Dr Filippo Lenzerini, consultant of the candidature of the BR “Tepilora, Posada and Montalbo” in Sardinia, an area very similar to the Akamas Peninsula. The Italian experts highlighted the philosophy of the modern UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, that is all about the cooperation between human and nature for the sustainable development of the areas, through a well organized Action Plan, which aims the conservation of the natural and human environment and also the economic growth and the prosperity of the people of the areas designated as ΜaΒ (Man and Biosphere) and included in the international network of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

The conference provided an opportunity for information regarding the important program of UNESCO MaB, and raised the concern and challenge for communities of Akamas as the application and the procedure for joining the programme, should come from the communities themselves.

The conference was under the auspices of the Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO and was supported by the Department of Environment, the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development MIO-ECSDE and the EEC of Salamiou – Network of Environmental Education Centres -Pedagogical Institute, Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture.

Photos by foto LARKO, Pafos

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     Pafos2017 Official Photographer foto LARKO

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