Maldives to Become UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by 2017
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The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has reported that in response to the Hyderabad Call for Biodiversity Champions in support of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Government of the Maldives has pledged that the entire country and its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will become a UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve by 2017.

18 February 2013: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has reported that, in response to the Hyderabad Call for Biodiversity Champions in support of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Government of the Maldives has pledged that the entire country and its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will become a UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve by 2017.

The pledge by the Republic of Maldives is in response to the Hyderabad Call for Biodiversity Champions, made at the eleventh meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP 11) in Hyderabad, India. The Call aims to highlight parties’ commitment to biodiversity and encourage all stakeholders to dedicate resources for biodiversity in the spirit of Decision XI/4 (review of implementation of the strategy for resource mobilization, including the establishment of targets). The pledge also follows-up on the announcement made by the President of Maldives at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), to significantly ramp up efforts to protect the marine environment.

The implementation plan, Maldives as a Biosphere Reserve: An Implementation Plan 2013-2017, sets a roadmap for the period 2013-2017, after which the plan will be updated based on progress and lessons learned. It aims to ensure that over half of the country’s atolls are implementing the new approach by the end 2017, in order to trigger the application for Maldives as a Biosphere Reserve to be submitted to UNESCO.

Maldives is the second country, after India, to pledge support to the Hyderabad Call for Biodiversity Champions. [CBD Notification] [IISD RS Story on the Biodiversity Champions] [The Hyderabad Call for Biodiversity Champions Website]

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