UNESCO and Institute of Technology of Cambodia conduct Seminar on Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve to promote scientific cooperation for conservation and sustainable development

On 12th May 2021, UNESCO and the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) organized an online seminar for the students of ITC’s Master of Water and Environmental Engineering programme, to provide an opportunity to learn about UNESCO’s Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve initiatives. The Seminar advocated for promoting the role of students, as young researchers and scientists, for undertaking quality research for conservation and sustainable development of the TSBR. .

More than 65 participants attended the seminar, including students, faculty members and scholars from ITC. The seminar provided a platform for the students to learn about UNESCO’s work in natural sciences, and gain insights into the concept of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. In this context, the seminar focused on the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve (TSBR), where UNESCO is undertaking various conservation and sustainable development initiatives. Various specialized topics were discussed during the Seminar, including the role of Education for Sustainable Development, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Environmental Governance in Biosphere Reserves, to deepen students’ understanding of how they can play an active role in sustainably shaping Cambodia’s natural resources and landscapes.

Biosphere Reserves are designated as part of UNESCO’s intergovernmental Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, for sustainably managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems. The Tonle Sap Lake was inscribed on the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 1997, and enforced by Royal Decree in 2001.

UNESCO is collaborating with academic and research institutions in Cambodia, to strengthen research on various environmental, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the TSBR, and advocating for quality research on this unique ecosystem. The initiative is undertaken as part of UNESCO’s on-going activities to strengthen conservation and sustainable development at the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve, with support from the FAO-CAPFISH-Capture Fisheries Programme, funded by the European Union.

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