Vol 1, No 2 (2017) International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

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    International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves - Volume 1, Issue 2 (2017)
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017-08)
    The second issue of the International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
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    The establishment of a database on current research in UNESCO biosphere reserves: limitations and opportunities
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017-08) Shaw, Pamela; Price, Martin F.; Alexander, Taylor; Gadoya, Rushi; Sakaki, Graham; Shaw, Lauren
    The investigation into current research on biosphere reserves is complex and multi-faceted. Numerous factors, including the widespread interests of those publishing on biosphere reserves, publication methods, author languages, and the peculiarity of various search engines makes the determination of gaps, patterns, and opportunities in research a convoluted task. To respond to the question “what is the current state of research on biosphere reserves?” a major university-led research project was developed as a partnership between the University of the Highlands and Islands and Vancouver Island University. Over a two-year period, a database of more than 5000 articles, studies, and research documents was compiled, covering the majority of the EuroMAB biosphere reserves. It is hoped that future research will seek to catalogue similar works across the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. It is hoped that the publication of this article will prompt involvement by the biosphere reserve scientific community in building a complete and detailed database that accurately represents the state of current research across the World Network.
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    Biosphere Reserves: learning spaces for sustainability
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017-08) Herrero, Cristina
    Since 1976, the research on sustainable development practices at the Biosphere Reserves (BRs) of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme have yielded valuable experiences and built an important knowledge base. The practical knowledge acquired in that collection is presently dispersed and risks disappearing due to its diffuse nature, complexity, social changes, and lack of suitable learning structures. However, the collaboration between BRs’ managers as knowledge carriers and scientists from different disciplines, allows transformation of diffuse practical knowledge into scientific knowledge for Sustainability Science, which may be applied elsewhere, such as in the formation of rural development and sustainability professionals. With that purpose in mind, the Spanish Biosphere Reserve Network (comprising of 48 BRs) is now developing a “Knowledge Network”, DialogosRB.net project. In it, BRs’ managers and scientists, and together with experts in communication and information technologies, have agreed to work as a collective intelligence unit. This article presents the underlying reflections of this project. The results from the Knowledge Network will be available at www.dialogosrb.net on 2018 (initially in Spanish).
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    Using Enhancing our heritage toolkit for assessing management effectiveness of the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017-08) Cuong, Chu Van; Dart, Peter; Hockings, Marc
    Biosphere reserves operating under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme aim to achieve three mandate management objectives of conservation, sustainable socio-economic development, and logistic support. The apparent mismatch between the biosphere reserve (BR) concept and implementation reality has led to the call for assessment of management effectiveness as part of a system to support management of sites under the Seville Statutory Framework for the Biosphere Reserves Network since 1995. We used the Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UNESCO to evaluate the management effectiveness of the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve (KGBR). A lack of broad understanding for the conceptual model leads to the biosphere reserve concept being essentially an artificially constructed model with little buy-in from agencies of government and limited efforts to pursue an adequate planning and implementation process. The management system established in KGBR lacks operational funding and its staff lacks adequate knowledge of the BR model, but exhibit strong sectoral commitments that cut across the BR approach. Consequently, most of the important values found in the KGBR are ineffectively protected and managed. The case study in Kien Giang suggests that this management effectiveness evaluation tool can be used to assess performance and management outcomes of sites and assist stakeholders in adaptive planning and improving BR performance and effectiveness.
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    The International Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ICSRC)
    (Electronic version published by Vancouver Island University, 2017-08) Clarke, Gary; Bennett, Ellie
    The establishment of the International Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ICSRC) was proposed as a legacy project at the October 2013 meeting of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, which included 36 countries from Europe and North America, known as the EuroMAB Group, held in Brockville, Ontario, Canada. The delegates endorsed the proposal to form an international EuroMAB Working Group to advance the project. The ICSRC will be located in Brockville, within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve. It will contribute to the EuroMAB Mission and Vision and address the objectives of the Lima Action Plan for UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (2016-2025). Here we summarize the status of the project, its vision and mission, and give an overview of the Centre’s proposed activities.