Two Indonesian biosphere reserves, namely Bromo-Semeru-Tengger-Arjuno in East Java and Taka Bonerate in the Selayar Islands, South Sulawesi, have been acknowledged as members of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB), an envoy has said.
"The acknowledgement was ratified during the 27th meeting of MAB's International Coordinating Council [ICC] at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris," Indonesian Ambassador to UNESCO Fauzi Soelaiman said as quoted by Antara news agency in London on Wednesday.
Bromo-Tengger and Taka Bonerate are Indonesia's ninth and 10th biosphere reserves acknowledged as UNESCO MAB members. Eight other biosphere reserves are Cibodas, which was acknowledged in 1977, Komodo Island (19770, Lore Lindu (1977), Tanjung Puting (1977), Leuser (1981), Siberut (1981), Giam Siak Kecil-Batu Island (1981) and Wakatobi (2012). "Biosphere reserves are sites on land, in sea or on beaches, which are managed with innovation to create synergy between local people and their environment," said Fauzi.
He further said that biosphere reserves aimed to integrate biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources and to promote local solutions to resolve humanity challenges faced in the areas.
Launched in 1970, the UNESCO MAB programme now has 631 members from 119 countries, including 14 biosphere reserves in the border areas of two countries such as Tonle Sap in Cambodia, Mare aux Hippopotamus in Burkina Faso and Pantanal in Brazil. Every year, ICC MAB, which has 34 member countries, holds a meeting to ratify new MAB members.
In this year's meeting, ICC MAB also discussed proposals of 24 other biosphere reserves from 18 countries: Algiers, Argentina, Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, France, Honduras, India, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain and Vietnam.