The French MAB committee proposes to contribute to educational actions for the biosphere reserves by organizing study trips, meetings and exchanges. Training courses will be offered on varied topics; they are custom designed upon request by the national MAB or biosphere reserve committees, in connection and complementarity with the Agence Française pour la Biodiversité.
With the backing of its network of researchers and managers, MAB France can also participate in support missions (when biosphere reserves are created or periodically examined, focusing on the management of biosphere reserves, in particular cross-border reserves), and project evaluation.
Training the coordinators of the Jabal Moussa biosphere reserve, in Lebanon
A 4-day training course was organized in June 2016, for five members of the Jabal Moussa Protection association, a biosphere reserve in Lebanon. Meetings alternated with discussions with stakeholders (managers, technicians, public representatives, socio-professional groups) and field outings in three Mediterranean biosphere reserves: Camargue, Cevennes (Galeizon Valley) and Gorges du Gardon.
The main themes were related to governance, management of mixed ownership territories, organizational arrangements for local participation, incentives for the stakeholders to promote sustainable development (eco-stakeholders), ecological camping and communication with other biosphere reserves. These multiple exchanges also assessed the management of central areas, education and educational games, as well as sustainable tourism.
Backing the creation of a first biosphere reserve in Moldova
At the request of the Moldovan government, MAB France is supporting the creation of the first biosphere reserve in this country. It concerns the Prut River and the associated wetlands, which form the border between Moldova and Romania. Moldova has already carried out extensive awareness work so that local communities are involved in this project, which they see as a lever for local development. Structures, such as a reception and educational centre, are currently under construction. This site is part of a vast wetland complex associated with the Danube Delta.
Supporting a transboundary biosphere reserve project
As part of an FFEM project, MAB France is providing technical support for setting up a transboundary biosphere reserve in Pilcomayo Basin. Catherine Cibien participated in a study trip at the site and met the project leaders. In addition to meetings with the project leaders, a study trip is organized in two transboundary biosphere reserves (Vosges du Nord – Pfälzerwald and Monte Viso) in order to discuss concrete projects with public representatives and managers and to study governance arrangements.