Agadir Hosts 36th International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s MAB Programme

2 July 2024
Agadir Hosts 36th International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s MAB Programme

The 36th session of the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (ICC-MAB) kicked off on Tuesday in Agadir, with a series of issues related to strengthening the programme and the election of new members of the ICC-MAB Bureau on the agenda.

Initiated by the UNESCO in partnership with Morocco’s National Agency for the Development of Oases and Argan Zones (ANDZOA), this session, held until July 5th, is attended by UNESCO Member States representatives and Associate Members, in addition to UN agencies representatives and international non-governmental organisations.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay welcomed the holding of this event in Morocco, “whose hospitality is a reflection the Kingdom’s cooperation with UNESCO: warm, benevolent and entirely conducive to the success of our work”.

She stated that this session of the ICC-MAB is held “in a very special place, a biosphere reserve with emblematic Argan tree, with roots standing as the best bulwark against soil erosion and desert encroachment, and a tree of resilience adapted to the climate’s aridity.”

UNESCO’s DG also noted that the MAB programme has the potential to further improve its actions, stressing the importance of “capitalising on its brilliant successes, expanding it and propagating knowledge about its potential and relevance to today’s challenges”.

For his part, Morocco’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Samir Addahre stated that the choice of organizing this session in Morocco is “highly symbolic and strategic” insofar as, since joining the MAB Programme over 50 years ago, Morocco has always been committed to implementing the Programme and promoting its values and objectives.

In this respect, Addahre emphasised Morocco’s firm commitment, under the leadership of HM the King, to global values and objectives, advocating sustainable development and promoting the now crucial balance between environmental, economic and social dimensions.

The session will tackle reports of the outgoing ICC Chair and the Secretary of the MAB Programme, in addition to updates on MAB Programme’s contribution to the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GGBF), and on the Open-ended Working Group on Youth Engagement in MAB.

It will further examine updates on MAB’s contribution to the UNESCO biodiversity database and portal, and preparations for the 2025 World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in China.

Source: map

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