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International Meeting of Biosphere Reserves in Jönköping

Just under a year ago, UNESCO’s International Coordinating Council (ICC) of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme designated the East Vättern Scarp Landscape in Jönköping the newest member of the current world network of 621 biosphere reserves. The East Vättern Scarp Landscape’s application was praised as a “model and source of inspiration” for other biosphere reserves. An opportunity to present the area for the rest of the world has now come much sooner than expected. Representatives from 34 countries recently designated Sweden and the East Vättern Scarp Landscape as host for the 26th ICC meeting in 2014.

"The designation of Sweden and the East Vättern Scarp Landscape as host and organizer of next year’s ICC meeting is a major event that will establish the municipality on the global map of sustainable development. Being hosts for this international meeting encourages us to take off our blinders and feel pride in our unique and beautiful city and countryside," said Anna-Mari Nilsson, chairperson of the biosphere reserve’s steering committee.

During the annual ICC meetings, decisions are made on, among others, new biosphere reserve designations, funding for research and international collaborations, as well as strategic sustainability issues that will be prioritized during the coming year.

"During this gathering of world experts on biosphere reserves, we will highlight important local sustainability issues such as energy production, locally-produced food, and the area’s possibilities for best-practice examples in the development of sustainable tourism," said Simon Jonegård, biosphere reserve coordinator.

"The ICC meeting is further proof that international meetings linked to our particular local businesses and conditions strengthen our region and put Jönköping on the international map,"  said Ante Jankovic at the Convention Bureau.