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EuroMAB 2022

Meeting of the Biosphere Reserves of Europe and North America

From September 12th to 16th, the Nockberge Biosphere Reserve in the Austrian province of Carinthia invited delegations from all UNESCO biosphere reserves in Europe and North America. Due to the pandemic, the meeting in Austria had been postponed from autumn 2021 to this month.

About 200 delegates from 27 different countries met last week in Bad Kleinkirchheim to discuss urgent problems of the different biosphere reserves in a series of interesting workshops.

A variety of different topics were highlighted and dealt with. The workshops, organised during the EuroMAB2022, ranged from the promotion of local products, to the challenges of demographic change and climate change, to the promotion of sustainable tourism in biosphere reserves and funding opportunities that may be available to the individual biospheres should state or local funding not be sufficient to initiate or implement important projects in the different protected areas.

Luxembourg’s only biosphere reserve, the Minett UNESCO Biosphere, was represented by a delegation of three, consisting of Simone Beck, President of the Luxembourg UNESCO Commission, Gaëlle Tavernier, Manager of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere, and Yann Logelin, Communications Officer of the biosphere reserve.

© PRO-SUD / Gaëlle Tavernier / Yann Logelin

For the first time, a youth forum was also an integral part of the meeting of European and North American biosphere reserves. Young participants from various countries took part in the workshops, but also drew up their own list of demands for better involvement of young inhabitants of the various biosphere reserves in the development and continuation of UNESCO’s Man and the biosphere programme. Luxembourg was represented by Hana Prosser and Serena Boukelmoun, both of whom had worked as volunteers for Luxembourg’s biosphere reserve over the past year and had also participated in the first Minett UNESCO Biosphere Youth Forum, Beyouthsphere, in Lasauvage in April.

After Austria became the first country ever to organise this congress, which has been held regularly since 1986, for the second time, the next meeting of the UNESCO Biospheres of Europe and North America will be organised in Germany in 2024.