Doha, – The regional training program on biosphere reserves and the “Man and the Biosphere Program” of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) started Monday in Doha with the participation of GCC delegations.

Eng Ahmed Mohammed Al Sada, assistant undersecretary for environment affairs at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, kicked off the program with a speech in which he said the program is held within the joint cooperation between the ministry’s natural reserves department and the UNESCO Office in Doha in order to carry out the national program to prepare a comprehensive administrative plan for Al Reem Biosphere Reserve.

He said that the participation of a number of specialists reflects the growing attention paid to the planning and management of reserves, stressing that the main pillar of the program is to review Qatar’s experiment in the Man and the Biosphere Program and discuss the lessons learned from the Qatari experience since Al Reem Reserve was declared a biosphere reserve.

The program aims to enhance the regional role in terms of exchanging knowledge and expertise on the regional experiences of the Man and the Biosphere Program, Al Sada said, expressing hope that such efforts will culminate in outputs that reflect the relevant priorities of the planning and management of domestic areas at the regional level and address the international terms adopted by UNESCO.

For her part, Anna Paolini, director of the UNESCO Office in Doha, highlighted the program and expressed gratitude to Qatar’s efforts, represented by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, in this regard, praising the Qatari experience in drafting the comprehensive plan for the biosphere reserve.

She said the outcomes of the program aim to promote awareness of the Man and the Biosphere Program and learn about the approach followed in nominating Al Reem Reserve for the biosphere program, the contribution of the Qatari experience in the preparation of the integrated management plan for Al Reem Reserve, in addition to an initial review of reserves in the Gulf region that are eligible for nomination and the adoption of an action plan for a regional program for man and the biosphere.

During the first day of the four-day program, Tariq Mostafa Aboul Hawa, a regional expert in natural reserves, gave a presentation on the Man and the Biosphere Program that UNESCO launched in 1971 as an international and scientific program among governments in order to enhance the link between man and the environment.

He said that there are 669 declared biosphere reserves in 120 countries, 16 of which are cross-border and 30 are in the Arab region. He noted that the program strives to achieve the goals of preserving biodiversity and environment systems; enhancing the chances of sustainable development of for societies associated with environment systems; building knowledge, awareness, education and communication in support of preserving biodiversity; and securing an opportunity for future generations to enjoy the natural and cultural heritage. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency