The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program has named the recipients of its 2017 Young Scientists Awards and the Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management. The selection was announced during the MAB Council’s annual meeting in Paris, France.
UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program is an Intergovernmental Scientific Program that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and the environment. Since 1989, MAB has been granting awards of up to $5,000 to young researchers each year to encourage and support research related to ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity, ultimately investing in solutions that address ecological and sustainability issues.
Seven scientists are to receive the 2017 UNESCO MAB Young Scientists Awards:
- Isma Merad (Algeria): Merad’s research focuses on the impact of human activity on Lake El Mellah in El Kala, Algeria and relies on health assessment using the Cerastoderma glaucum (Mollusca, Bivalvia) as a sentinel species.
- Stella Marlène B. F.Sokpon (Benin): The young scientist is studying the involvement of local communities in ecotourism activities and attitudes regarding conservation at the Pendjari biosphere.
- Marie Florence Sandrine Ngo Ngwe (Cameroon): Ngo Ngwe has undertaken research examining the genetic and biochemical features of forests at the Dia Biosphere Reserve to improve knowledge and conservation of biodiversity.
- Amirhosein Mosavi (Hungary): Utilizing sustainable business models, Mosavi is monitoring and assessing sustainability in Biosphere Reserves.
- Luiza Abdurasulova (Kazakhstan): Abdurasulova is being recognized for her work studying the biodiversity, monitoring and management of insects of the Karatau Biosphere Reserve.
- Eduardo Luna Sanchez (Mexico): Sanchez is researching case studies of organizations that implement natural resource management projects in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.
- Adeeb Hayyan (Malaysia): Hayyan’s research explores the physiochemical properties and cellular toxicity of oil plant seeds available in Tasik Chini Biosphere Reserve as an alternative for conventional natural oils with regards to nutraceutical and food industries.
The Michael Batisse Award, a grant of $6,000, for excellence in the management of a biosphere reserve in line with the recommendations of the Seville Strategy has been awarded to Vladimira Fabriciusova (Slovakia), coordinator of the Polana Biosphere Reserve, for her case study Biosphere Reserve: An Opportunity for Humans and Nature.
Biosphere reserves are areas that promote innovative solutions to issues of conservation, ecology and sustainable development recognized as such by UNESCO’s MAB Program. The World Network of Biosphere Reserves currently counts 669 sites in 120 countries around the world, including 16 transboundary sites.