COBWEB recently participated in the EuroMAB 2015 conference. EuroMAB is the largest and oldest of the Man And Biosphere (MAB) Regional Networks. It includes 52 countries and 289 biosphere reserves from across Europe and North America. The conference was held from 19 to 23 May in Haapsalu, Estonia.
COBWEB had previously attended EuroMAB 2014 to raise the question of how citizen science can help managers and residents of Biosphere Reserves fulfil their mission of developing and strengthening models of sustainable development through participatory means. This year, COBWEB ran a workshop about citizen science, and worked hard to engage delegates from its prominent stand. A number of delegates were also recruited to test COBWEB during a field trip to the island of Hiiumaa, which is part of the host Biosphere Reserve, the West Estonian Archipeligo.
COBWEB representatives also took the opportunity to renew contact with managers of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve in the Basque Country, northern Spain. This area has many similarities to the Dyfi Biosphere in Wales and the Basque Government is interested in exploring collaboration.
Participation at this event succeeded in raising awareness of COBWEB within a section of UNESCO that has a focus on citizen participation in sustainable development, and is expected to lead to practical extensions and collaborations that will enrich COBWEBâ€™s work.