Managing director of the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Tadzio Bervoets recently attended the regional UNESCO Man and Biosphere meeting held in St. Ann, Jamaica. The meeting, hosted by the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, was held in order to move attending islands and their representatives to have areas listed under the Man and Biosphere (MAB) program.
The MAB Program develops the basis within the natural and social sciences for the sustainable use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the overall relationship between people and their environment. It predicts the consequences of today’s actions on tomorrow’s world and thereby increases people’s ability to efficiently manage natural resources for the well-being of both human populations and the environment.
By focusing on sites internationally recognized within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the MAB Programme strives to identify and assess the changes in the biosphere resulting from human and natural activities and the effects of these changes on humans and the environment, in particular in the context of climate change; study and compare the dynamic interrelationships between natural/near-natural ecosystems and socio-economic processes, in particular in the context of accelerated loss of biological diversity with unexpected consequences that impact the ability of ecosystems to continue to provide services critical for human well-being; promote the exchange and transfer of knowledge on environmental problems and solutions, and to foster environmental education for sustainable development.
Sint Maarten, through the management of the local UNESCO Office and its Secretary General Ms. Marcellia Henry, have been making steps towards getting the Man of War Shoal Marine Park listed as a Biosphere Reserve. The Nature Foundation, who will be completing the nomination form, will hope to have the submission for nomination completed by September.
Photocaption: Bervoets and other regional representatives at the UNESCO Meeting in St. Ann Jamaica.