Nelson P. Devanadera, Executive Director of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS), represented Palawan BR, Philippines to the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves (WCBR) in Lima, Peru on March 14-18.
Devanadera was also invited to present during the parallel workshop on tourism and highlight Palawan BR as an example of sustainable tourism in Asia.
It can be recalled that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1990 declared the entire island province of Palawan as a Biosphere Reserve. This is under the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme which established a worldwide network of reserves with the intent of showcasing the critical relationship between human societies and their natural environments.
During the Congress, experts discussed progress and obstacles related to BR issues.
UNESCO describes the Island and Coastal BR as sensitive sites due to their high level of biodiversity endemicity, rare, small and fragile ecosystems and vulnerability to natural and human-induced hazards and impacts.
The implementation of the Madrid Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves 2008-2013, the Seville Strategy and the Statutory Framework of 1995 was also reviewed during the meeting, as released in the official event website.
Participants to the gathering also assessed lessons learned and new challenges faced by the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, and afterwards developed and launched an Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves for 2016-2025.
The Congress also addressed issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, such as education for sustainable development, the economic viability of nature conservation systems, biodiversity, and the protection and sustainable use of natural resources, among others, as cited in the website.