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Results of The Lower Morava Biosphere Reserve Periodic Review

The UNESCO General Conference adopted Resolution on the Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, that defines in particular the criteria for an area to be qualified for designation as a biosphere reserve. In addition the document foresees a periodic review every ten years, based on a report prepared by the concerned authority and forwarded to the MAB Secretariat by the State concerned.

There is a form which helps the States to prepare their national reports and to update the data available to the Secretariat on the biosphere reserve concerned. The reports should enable the International Coordinating Council (ICC) of the MAB Programme to review how each biosphere reserve is fulfilling the criteria of the Statutory Framework and in particular the three functions.

The information presented on periodic review is used in a number of ways by UNESCO:
(a)    for examination of the biosphere reserve by the  International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves and by the Bureau of the MAB International Coordinating Council;

(b)    for use in a world-wide accessible information system, notably for the UNESCO-MABnet and publications, facilitating communication and interaction amongst persons interested in biosphere reserves throughout the world.

The Lower Morava BR submitted the first Periodic Review in 2014. The review was approved by the LM BR Management Board and sent via Permanent Delegation of the Czech Republic to UNESCO to the MAB Secretariat. The International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves examined the Review during its meeting held on March 17. - 21. 2014 in Paris. The Committee prepared recommendations and forwarded them to the MAB International Coordinating Council. The Council met on June 10. - 13. 2014 in Sweden.

The official evaluation stated that:

  • The Council welcomed this first periodic review of Lower Morava Biosphere Reserve, designated in 2003.The Committee commended the Czech authorities for the very well-prepared periodic report. The Council took note of the fact that the site was managed by a stakeholder-based NGO, the Lower Morava Biosphere Reserve, which is a public benefit company. It welcomed this innovative stakeholder-based biosphere reserve management structure with direct participation and balanced decision-making.
  • It noted with appreciation the cooperation among various stakeholders, based on partnerships. It also welcomed the various projects targeted towards biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, tourism promotion and habitat restoration. The Council also acknowledged the intensive networking and sharing of knowledge and experiences with other biosphere reserves at international level.
  • Among the successful projects, the Council noted the interactive web page, the establishment and restoration of biocentres and a territorial system of ecological stability, as well as projects for the “Elimination of Environmental Burdens” which may be shared with other biosphere reserves.
  • The Council acknowledged the change in the surface area of the biosphere reserve, due to the use of modernized GIS technology, and noted that the zonation was in place and that the biosphere reserve was in the process of improving zonation as part of an international project for information exchange.
  • The Council considered that the site met the criteria in the Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
  • The Council  encouraged cooperation with other biosphere reserves that are also multi international designated sites. It also recommended initiating future research to include socio-economic studies and tourism impact assessments. The Council recommended that Lower Morava Biosphere Reserve be used as a model stakeholder-based management structure.

The Lower Morava Biosphere Reserve became the first Czech biosphere reserve appointed as a model for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves!