MAB-ICC Bureau holds on-line meeting to re-frame calendar in face of coronavirus crisis

The Bureau of the International Co-ordinating Council (ICC) of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme held an on-line meeting on Monday, April 6, to address important issues prior to the 32nd meeting of the ICC. The change of plans took place as the world braces for the COVID-19 epidemics in the coming months.

The Bureau has set out a range of options to make sure all the essential decisions that would have been made during the high level meeting in June 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria, are not affected. In view of the crisis, the MAB Secretariat has suspended all face-to-face meetings until further notice.

The options include hosting an on-line pocket session of the ICC in October in order to validate new biosphere reserves and Young Scientists awardees. “It is unfortunate that Biosphere Reserve bids that have put so much effort in engaging their communities and preparing elaborate nomination files are left without an official announcement this year”, argued MAB Secretary Miguel Clusener-Godt during the virtual meeting

The idea of holding the 33rd MAB-ICC meeting in Nigeria in 2021, though, is still on the table, as Nigerian authorities are assessing logistic issues for the postponement. If this decision comes through, the MAB Programme will celebrate its 50th anniversary by hosting its most important governing body’s meeting in Africa for the first time.

However, the members agreed on postponing the deadline for proposals of new biosphere reserves, as well as extensions, modifications and renaming to 15 December 2020, instead of the scheduled 30 September this year