UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme will celebrate its 50th anniversary throughout 2021

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme will celebrate its 50th anniversary throughout 2021. Appointed as official spokesperson by the MAB Council, Dr Jane Goodall DBE, will conduct an intergenerational dialogue with the youth counterparts from around the world.

This celebration will engage the entire MAB community, which since 1971 pursues the reconciliation of humans and nature within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The 50th anniversary will be an opportunity to increase the visibility of the MAB Programme and to show the world concrete actions being taken in biosphere reserves; with that aim, the programme seeks five youth spokespersons, one from each of UNESCO’s geopolitical regions, to represent and act on behalf of MAB Youth throughout the celebration.

The youth spokespersons will become guardians of MAB Youth and vital components in the future of the programme. A successful leader will raise the spirit, increase the visibility and get more members on board of the programme and its actions that seek sustainable development of local communities and biodiversity conservation. It will also be part of a global dialogue with counterparts from other regions and Dr Jane Goodall about the Programme’s way forward.

What will be the role of the youth spokesperson?

  • Represent MAB Youth in online (and possibly in-person) events carried out within the framework of the 50th anniversary celebration both regionally and globally – Participate in intergenerational and interregional dialogues with different stakeholders to raise the values and visions for the future of the WNBR
  • Maintain an active communication with and work alongside the MAB Secretariat and MAB Youth Networks
  • Spread the spirit of the MAB Programme by creating strategies for the messages to reach every corner of their regions, this includes but is not limited to developing partnerships with youth organizations and increasing the presence in social media by creating content actively
  • Report on the activities that are taking place in their corresponding regions in light of the 50th anniversary
  • Organize virtual events, along other spokespersons, that are of interest to the MAB programme and its WNBR
  • Write articles on the experiences, projects, perspectives and achievements of youth in biosphere reserves to be published in the MAB’s 50th anniversary special website
  • Advocate for youth engagement in the programme
  • Other tasks to be arranged with MAB Youth and MAB Secretariat

Criteria for Youth Spokesperson:

  • Young people aged 18 – 35, who live, work, study or carry out research in biosphere reserves and are recognized for having a strong link to their community and for being a custodian of the MAB Programme;
  • Availability to commit to the unpaid duties of the position for the full duration of the 50th anniversary (year-round) and predisposition to receive directives from member staff of the MAB Secretariat, Biosphere Reserves, National Committees and MAB Youth concerning the topics that he/she will touch upon when representing the programme;
  • Sharing the values and spirit of the MAB Programme and having a genuine interest to act on behalf of it;
  • Demonstrating a clear proposal to represent MAB Youth in the 50th anniversary;
  • Outstanding personal and communication skills (written and oral);
  • Predisposal to attend events in other time zones (this could mean very late or very early hours);
  • Fluency in English is an asset;
  • Have stable access to internet connection.

How to apply?

1. In a word document, include:

  • your CV;
  • a letter of motivation explaining your relationship to the MAB Programme, why you think you would be the right person to become a spokesperson, what is your proposal for the position and if you are a part of another youth network (such as Roots & Shoots, GYBN, etc.).

Note: Each of the two components should be limited to two pages (standard margins, font size 12) and must be written in English, French or Spanish.

2. Collect a letter of support from your MAB National Committee AND from your Biosphere Reserve endorsing your link to the programme.

3. Send your application with all the supporting material in one e-mail to the corresponding recipient for your region stating “MAB Youth Spokesperson Application” in the subject line and include d.cheb-terrab@unesco.org(link sends e-mail) in copy (CC line).

Deadline to apply: January 31st 2021

Applicants will be notified of their selection during the first week of February.


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