Presentation on theme: "Dr. Thomas Schaaf UNESCO Division of Ecological Sciences Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) International Concepts of Nature Conservation: UNESCO’s."— Presentation transcript:
Dr. Thomas Schaaf UNESCO Division of Ecological Sciences Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) International Concepts of Nature Conservation: UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves and the World Heritage Convention
Overview on Overview on Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Convention Differences and similarities Differences and similarities Can the two concepts be Can the two concepts be complementary to one another?
Biosphere Reserve concept: Biosphere Reserve concept: to couple environmental conservation to couple environmental conservation with sustainable development with sustainable development World Heritage concept: World Heritage concept: to conserve the world’s most to conserve the world’s most outstanding natural (and cultural) outstanding natural (and cultural) sites sites
The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme: provides conceptual and administrative framework for Biosphere Reserves as an intergovernmental programme
The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme - Objectives Environmental research and conservation Environmental research and conservationprogramme Objective 1: to study and improve the Objective 1: to study and improve the relationship between people and their environment Objective 2: to conserve the environment Objective 2: to conserve the environment through sustainable use of natural resources (biosphere reserves)
The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme - Origins 1968: Biosphere Conference (organised by 1968: Biosphere Conference (organised by UNESCO, FAO, WHO, IUCN, ICSU) 1971: Approval of MAB Programme by UNESCO General Conference 1971: Approval of MAB Programme by UNESCO General Conference 1971: First session of the MAB International Co-ordinating Council 1971: First session of the MAB International Co-ordinating Council 1975: first biosphere reserve nominations 1975: first biosphere reserve nominations
Hallmark of Biosphere Reserves: three functions Each Biosphere Reserve is intended to fulfil three basic functions, which are complementary and mutually reinforcing. It is the synergy of these functions which makes it a biosphere reserve
Three inter- related zones: core area (s), buffer zone, and outer transition area or area of co-operation Zonation pattern of biosphere reserves
Formally recognised by 188 Member States of UNESCO Tool for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of biological resources (thus contributing to the CBD and the UNCCD) To-date: 425 biosphere reserves in 95 countries 30 new nominations received in 2002 (of which 18 were approved) The World Network of Biosphere Reserves
Biosphere Reserves in Asia-Pacific Issyk-Kul BR
Biosphere Reserves in Africa Queen Elizabeth BR
Biosphere Reserves in South America Huascaran BR
Biosphere Reserves in Northern America Everglades BR
Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (Seville, Spain, 1996) Article 1: Definition Article 2: World Network of Biosphere Reserves Article 3: Functions Article 4: Criteria Article 5: Designation procedure Article 6: Publicity Article 7: Participation in the Network Article 8: Regional and thematic networks Article 9: Periodic review Article 10: Role of Secretariat
Article 4 (Criteria): General criteria of a Biosphere Reserve: 1.Representative ecosystem of a major biogeographic region; 2. Significance for biological diversity; 3. Site for exploring sustainable development on a regional scale; 4. Appropriate size to serve the three functions;
5. Zonation should reflect the functions: (a) core area: legally constituted for long-term protection; (b) buffer zone: clearly identified for activities compatible with conservation; (c) transition area for sustainable resource management practises. Legally protected for conservation Research, monitoring, education Sustainable development
6. Involvement of people (public authorities, local communities, private stake-holders…), with provisions for: a management plan or policy; a designated authority to implement this plan; programmes for research, monitoring, education and training.
Local level: Biosphere Reserve National level: Ministry Research level: University
Local level: Biosphere Reserve Local level: Biosphere Reserve Local level: Biosphere Reserve National level: Ministry National level: Ministry National level: Ministry Research level: University Research level: University Research level: University
Biosphere Reserves for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in anglophone Africa (BRAAF) A network forcollaboration
Project Objectives: (1) Biodiversity conservation: enhancing the protection of the site. species inventorying. (2) Sustainable development: find alternative income opportunities for local people, so as to reduce pressure on the protected areas.
Ghana - Bia Biosphere Reserve Main partners: Environmental Protection Agency; Wildlife Department; University of Ghana, Botany Department; Local people
Bia Biosphere Reserve Administrative Unit: Bia National Park Area (hectares): 7,770 Elevation Range: 145 - 230m Biome: Tropical humid forests Biogeographic Province: Guinean Rain Forest Year Designated as Biosphere Reserve: 1983 Principal Monitoring and Research Themes: Elephant population research Primate species monitoring
Problem: With designation of national park restriction of natural resources use. Problem solving: to find alternative income opportunities, in particular to satisfy the demands on animal protein for the local populations Solution 1: Establishment of fish ponds in buffer/transition zones
Solution 2: a) provision of licenses to collect African giant snails (Acatina acatina) b) establishing snail farms in local communities around the the biosphere reserve (commercial farming)
Uganda - Queen Elizabeth BR Main partners: Makerere University; Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Local people Queen Elizabeth BR
QUEEN ELIZABETH Biosphere Reserve Major ecosystem type: Tropical dry or deciduous forests/mixed mountain and highland systems Major habitats & land cover types: Undulating grasslands with Euphorbia spp.; Acacia savannas; semi-deciduous tropical high forest; semi-deciduous forest; swamps dominated by Cyperus papyrus and Vossia cuspidata; tundra; salt lakes with salt extraction areas; agroecosystems; pasture land; lakes Area (hectares): 246,500 Altitude: +910 to +1,390 Year designated: 1979 Current research/monitoring activities: Monitoring on soil, sediment and water chemistry and plant dynamics of polluted and degraded areas; Small mammals; Inventory of large mammals and their potential utilization; Fisheries resources; Studies on resource utilization by local communities, problem animals and food security
Problems: Intensive agricultural land use right at the border of the protected area; Eleven fishing villages within the park.
Solutions: Collaboration with local populations (information seminars) Establishment of bee hives for apiculture to diversify income opportunities
Development of tourism industry, in particular selling of handicrafts by women
Amboseli BR Kenya - Amboseli BR Main partners: National Environment Secretariat; Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS); Amboseli/Tsavo Group Ranches Association; Local people.
Area (hectrares): 483,206 Altitude: 1,000 to +1,300 Year designated: 1991 Current principal research/ monitoring activities: Ecology of the Amboseli Basin Long term baboon, vervet and elephant studies Tourism impacts assessment Ecosystem restoration Buffer zone development analysis Studies on change of swamps Setting up of game ranches GIS applications for reserve management Major ecosystem type: Tropical grasslands and savanna Major habitats & land cover types: Commiphora/Acacia bushland; saline/alkaline plains; Acacia woodland with yellow-barked acacia; swampland supporting sedges (Cyperus spp.) including Cyperus papyrus; agroecosystems with tomatoes, onions, maize, bananas etc.
Problems: Resource use conflicts with local populations (Masaai); Tourism pressure on restricted area (national park)
Reduced competition on park resources (less poaching) Reduced tourist pressure on national park and diffused it to surrounding areas. Solutions: Establishment of private group ranches in collaboration with Masaai
Results of BRAAF project: Information exchange among countries through annual meetings on a rotation principle. New ideas for resource use and resource management (apiculture, snail farming). At each site: in-depth species inventorying. Universities carried out scientific studies at each site. Sensitization of local people on biosphere reserve concept. Based on needs of local people: introduction of schemes for income generation. “Positive competition” effect.
The World Heritage Convention Basics for the protection of natural sites and cultural landscapes
The World Heritage Concept There is a set of places that are of such outstanding universal value that their deterioration or destruction constitutes a loss to the heritage of all humanity, not just to the country in which it is located. These cultural and natural places make up the world’s heritage.
The World Heritage List: To-date, the World Heritage Committee has inscribed 730 properties on the World Heritage List, of which: 563 cultural sites; 144 natural sites; and 23 mixed properties in 125 States Parties
Threats to the world’s heritage became increasingly apparent during the 1960’s; e.g. »Potential loss of the Nubian Monuments (Egypt) under the Aswan High Dam. »Floods in Venice (Italy) damaged buildings and frescos; Independent moves to create international instruments for the protection of cultural heritage and of natural heritage initiative to form a single legal instrument. Genesis of the Convention
Nomination of sites Only a State Party can nominate a site on its territory; Site can be justified on the basis of cultural heritage, natural heritage or a combination; Qualities of the site are assessed against a set of criteria developed by the WH Committee.
The Convention 1972 World Heritage Convention 1975 Convention operational 1978 First nature site inscribed 1978 Operational Guidelines 1992 Cultural Landscapes Categories
Role of the World Heritage Convention Seeks to identify and protect the world’s heritage through a system of collective assistance and co- operation; Intended to compliment, not replace, the actions of States Parties; Establishes the World Heritage Committee, World Heritage List, the List of World Heritage in Danger, & the World Heritage Fund.
Nomination procedure 1) Countries become “State Parties” by signing the World Heritage Convention and pledging to protect their cultural/natural heritage; 2) State Party: makes a tentative list by selecting sites con- sidered to be of “outstanding universal value”. Nominates sites for inscription on the WH List. Sends nomination to UNESCO WH Centre.
3) UNESCO World Heritage Centre: checks the nomination file; send the nomination file to ICOMOS (for cultural sites) or to IUCN (for natural sites). 4) ICOMOS and/or IUCN: send experts to: - evaluate protection & management of site - prepare a technical report. Check the Convention criteria send the evaluation report incl. recommendations to WH Bureau
5) World Heritage Bureau: examines the proposal & recommendations may ask for further information to State Party 6) World Heritage Committee: may ask for further information to State Party refuses inscription or inscribes the in the World Heritage List.
Nomination Criteria as per Convention and its Operational Guidelines
Natural criteria (Article 2 of the Convention): ”Natural features consisting of physical and biological formations or groups of such formations, which are of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view; geological and physiographical formations and precisely delineated areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation; natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty."
Operational Guidelines: a natural site must fulfil one orseveral of the following criteria: Criterion 1: outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on- going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features; Example: Yellowstone NP (USA) More geothermal features than the rest of the world combined (>300 geysers & >10000 other); 27 fossil forests; Abundance of pleistocene glaciation features.
Or Criterion 2: be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals; Elevational differences produced a range of plant communities (semi-arid steppe alpine tundra); Important habitats for large free-ranging mammals (incl. bisons, bears, carnivores).
Or Criterion 3: contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance; Superlative hydrothermal phenomena: –Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs etc; Edges of lava flows creating 41 waterfalls; Plateau surrounded by high mountains.
Or Criterion 4: contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation. 290 species of birds, 58 mammals, 13 fish, 6 reptiles, 4 amphibians, 1,100 vascular plants; Threatened species including peregrine falcon, bald eagle, grizzly bear & mountain lion.
List of World Heritage in Danger The Committee may list a site upon the “List of World Heritage in Danger” if it feels that it is threatened by a serious and specific danger; –Ascertained danger: a manifest danger to the integrity of the site that is specific and imminent; –Potential danger: a threat that may develop and threaten a site, such as a reduction in protective regime; Danger listing is the first step in the process to remove sites that have lost their outstanding universal value from the World Heritage List.
Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage sites Differences Similarities Operations Complementarity
Differences WH sites must be of outstanding universal value BRs are representative or typical ecosystems WH sites generally cover protected areas only (e.g. national park) BRs go beyond boundaries of protected areas: they also include economically used areas (buffer & transition zones) WH sites emphasize conservation (though research & training may also be required for improved site protection) BRs promote conservation, research and development in an equal manner
Similarities WH sites are protected areas BRs include protected areas WH sites provide the highest degree of international legal protection BRs have varying degrees of legal protection (e.g. from nature reserves to national parks), but are also internationally recognized The WH Convention is serviced by UNESCO (= World Heritage Centre) The World Network of Biosphere Reserves is serviced by UNESCO (= Division of Ecological Sciences)
Operations World Heritage Convention ratified by 174 States Parties Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves adopted by a UNESCO General Conference Resolution (188 Member States) Status of conservation monitored on case-by-case basis and on regional basis (6 years’ cycle) Periodic review of BRs every ten years Delisting formally foreseen by WH Committee Delisting foreseen in Statutory Framework
Complementarity WH sites provide the highest degree of international legal protection BRs provide scientific knowledge on the functioning of ecosystems WH sites can benefit from the WH Fund for enhanced conservation (e.g. training of managers) BRs are sites where scientists and managers meet: BRs have the logistic and scientific capacities to organize training seminars WH sites often generate income through tourism BRs promote sustainable development in partnership with local people
Complementarity Over 60 sites are both - Natural world heritage sites and biosphere reserves For example: India: Sunderbans Nat. Park WH site (1987) Sunderbans BR (2001) Tanzania: Serengeti-Ngorongoro BR (1981) Serengeti WH site (1981)