26 October 2016
The 8th Meeting of the South and Central Asia MAB (SACAM) Network was organized on 24-25 October 2016 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The event was organized by the National Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan for UNESCO and ISESCO, Kazakhstan MAB National Committee, ECO Science Foundation and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.The primary objective of the meeting was to discuss promotion of biosphere reserves as models for sustainable development. The discussion focused on the documents developed and adopted during the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves, held in March 2016 in Lima, Peru, especially on Lima Action Plan 2016-2025. The meeting was attended by about 65 participants, including those from SACAM member countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, as well as Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. During the event, Barsakelmes Biosphere Reserve (Kazakhstan), approved in March 2016, received UNESCO certificate of its inclusion in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
The meeting agenda included five plenary sessions, during which the country reports from SACAM member states and Kazakhstan biosphere reserves, including two potential biosphere reserves (Karatau and Altyn-Emel) nominated and submitted this year, were presented. The programme of the meeting also included discussion of the achievements, challenges and prospects of the SACAM Network and development of the outcome document "Recommendations for the implementation of the Lima Action Plan in SACAM countries".
The main results of the meeting were an updated Statute of the SACAM Network and recommendations. The Statute, adopted by all SACAM members, included updated information on the establishment and development of the Network, inclusion of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as SACAM members and Azerbaijan as an observer. The recommendations aimed at implementing the principles of the Lima Action Plan into the national MAB Action Plans to strengthen the cooperation within SACAM Network.