According to the decision of UNESCO's General Conference in 2014 the Republic of Kazakhstan became a member of the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO's MAB (MAB-ICC UNESCO), among others, 34 member states of the Council. By the invitation of the Secretariat of the MAB Programme the chairman of the Kazakhstan National Committee MAB Dr. Roman Jashenko participated in the 26th session of the MAB-ICC held in in Jönköping (Sweden) from 10-13 June 2014.
The agenda of the session included a long list of many items worked out for consideration to the Council within 4 working days. The most important questions were the election of ICC Bureau members, report from the Secretariat on the activities of the MAB in 2013-14, review of current applications, periodic reports, the definition of the main directions of the future activities of the MAB, the approval of the award winners and young scientists, etc.
On the first day of the meeting secretariat had been nominated the new president of the MAB-ICC and 4 regional vice-presidents. By common consent of the ICC members the president Sergio Guevara Sada from Mexico was elected, later he served as chairman of the plenary sessions and meetings of the Bureau. Vice presidents were selected as representatives of each UNESCO geographical region: Prof. Bosra Salem (the Arab region, Egypt), Dr. Daniel Amlalo (African region, Hanna), Prof. Roman Jashenko (the Asian-Pacific region, Kazakhstan), Prof. Pavlo Cherinko (European and North American region, Ukraine). Martin Price was elected as Rapporteur (England). Thus, at the suggestion of a number of Asian countries (South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan), the representative of Kazakhstan (Roman Jashenko) was elected as a vice-president of the UNESCO MAB, which indicates recognition of the achievements and the growing role of Kazakhstan in the UNESCO.
The main discussion of all issues of the 26th session held in closed meetings the MAB-ICC Bureau, which was attended by members of the Bureau (6 persons) and the secretariat (4-6 people, including an independent lawyer - an observer from UNESCO). Later the decisions adopted by this body was reported to the ICC general meetings in plenary session.
Advanced by the countries of UNESCO's new proposal, the nomination and periodic reports existing BR, who passed the examination of the Advisory Committee in March 2014, took place fairly quickly and easily, with the exception of a few categories and reports that have caused heated debates. This was connected with the fact that the members of the Bureau in a very short period of the session were required to make a huge amount of work. The situation is also aggravated because that the newly elected president of the MAB Bureau meeting all carried in Spanish with simultaneous interpreter. Kazakhstan's new application, "Katon-Karagay BR" and “Akzhayik BR” not caused any complaints, but the nomination Aksu Zhabagly BR provoked sharp criticism from two members of the Bureau.
Previously, experts MAB (Advisory Board) recommended approval of this nomination to the submission of additional information that has been presented in time by Kazakhstan National MAB Committee to Secretariat. Here, the main "stumbling block" was that the BR zoning adjoined to the state border. Roman Jashenko was able to prove for almost all the members of the Bureau that according to the Law of Kazakhstan on state border here runs kilometer strip in whose territory with allowed limited economic activity (that is fully compliant to the buffer zone). The excerpts of the Kazakhstan Law on State Border, an updated map that takes into account state border, as well as the letter of confirmation from the National Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan were shown during debates. Despite this, the approval of Kazakhstan proposal was postponed for one year. Unfavorable situation was held with the Chinese new application, which is also, despite the protests, has been postponed for one year. Particularly the dramatic situation occurred with the Russian Far East Marine Biosphere Reserve. The MAB Advisory Committee recommended to the Government of the Russian Federation to eliminate that reserve from UNESCO BR Network because of the weak socio-economic development in the transition zone. But some additional information (letter from the district administration Khasan district, National MAB Committee, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Russian Federation) received from the Russian Federation showed that the experts admitted a mistake. The Advisory Committee recommended to exclude the reserve, but it was an extremely rough decision. Prof. Roman Jashenko as a vice president of the MAB for Asia and the Pacific has opposed this formulation, and another member of the Bureau Prof. Martin Price offered to postpone this decision for one year (until September 30, 2015) and to allow the Russian Federation to rectify the situation in the BR. Despite this, in the last day of the session the words on deletion of the Russian BR has remained in the text of the draft minutes of the meeting, so the representatives of the three countries (Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia) spoke strongly against the wording of the exclusion of the Russian BR.
Within the session, the Swedish side organized a half-day trip to one of the surrounding biosphere reserves where MAB experts did an excellent work with the local population and tourists.
List of ICC Members 2013 available at website (download)