The 14th meeting of the East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network (EABRN) took place from 6 to 9 October 2015 at the Shiga Highland Biosphere Reserve in Japan’. The meeting was organized by the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, the Japanese National Committee for the MAB programme, the EABRN Secretariat of the UNESCO Office in Beijing and the Shiga Highland Biosphere Reserve.
Under the theme of "activities in the transit area and the role of local communities in the management of the Biosphere Reserve", the meeting included a field evaluation of Japanese biosphere reserve, as well as joint meetings with members of the national Japanese Biosphere Reserves Network (JBRN). The main objectives of the meeting were to review and update Charter EABRN, identifying priorities for the activities of the network over the coming decade, and the plan of the network at the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in Lima (Peru, March 14-18, 2016).
Chairman of the Committee, Professor Roman Jashenko and members of the committee E.R. Maltsev and A.K. Imentay were participants in the meeting of the East Asian Biosphere Reserves Network from Kazakhstan. On the first day of the session the country reports were heard: Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and South Korea. Ms. Aiman Imentay gave a presentation on the development of transit territories of Kazakhstan on the example of the "Art-residence and exhibition of contemporary art in the Ile-Alatau National Nature Park". Creative and interdisciplinary approach with a high yield of the project were marked by members of the National Committees of South Korea and Japan.
In the second day of the session a trip to the buffer zone of the Shiga Highlands Biosphere Reserve was organized. Narrow trails lead all participants to the same goal - to climb to an altitude of 2500 meters and see the beauty of Japanese nature reserve. After enjoy the mountain air, cool, and of course the amazing beauty of the park, the group went to a local farm for growing fruit crops. Huge juicy apples with no less delicious grapes were the reward for a tour of the park. The owner of the farm told proudly about it: crystal clear water from the mountains to irrigate fed neatly planted trees were watered from above, and the water supply is ensured by means of solar panels. The farms were able to provide with jobs and fresh food local people every day.
On the third day of the meeting participants of the East Asia Network of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the reports of network members (Japan, China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Kazakhstan) were given. Member of MAB National Committee Ms. Elina Maltseva spoke on behalf of Kazakhstan with 45 minute review report, she highlighted the recent achievements of the MAB Programme in Kazakhstan: the main - 1) By the decision of the 27th session of the MAB International Coordinating Council of UNESCO, The Aksu-Zhabagly reserve was approved as the UNESCO biosphere reserve 2) The new application for international recognition of the Barsakelmes reserve as the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve was sent, 3) Continuation of work on the organization of the Russian-Kazakh and the first in Northern Eurasia transboundary biosphere reserve "Big Altai", 4) Continuation of work with Amendments to the Law on Protected Areas in terms of biosphere reserves, 5) Start of preparation of the new 2016 application. The report aroused great interest and was asked additional questions by the Russian, Korean and Japanese delegations.
The fourth and the final day (9 October 2015) of East Asia Network of Biosphere Reserves was dedicated to the current general issues of the network: the organization order has been updated, the topics of future trainings were discussed, Options for the network activities for the upcoming 4th World Congress on Biosphere Reserves (March 14-17, 2016 Lima, Peru) were discussed. The key point for the Kazakh delegation was the decision to hold the next 15th meeting of EABRN network in Kazakhstan, in the Aksu-Zhabagly Biosphere Reserve (2017).
Key outcomes of the meeting included the revision and updating of the EABRN Statutes, the identification of priorities for network activities over the coming decade, and the confirmation of EABRN’s presence at the 4th Biosphere Congress in Lima.