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Last week saw an historic event unfold in the life of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) and the Hessequa region, when delegates from 11 nations from all over the globe convened for the 9th annual Meeting of the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves (WNICBR) on the southern cape coast. The event was noteworthy in that it was the first time that the meeting was held on African soil, and the GCBR – a relative newcomer to the WNICBR - had the honour of hosting it.

This September the proceedings book of the VIII Congress of the Network, held in Menorca in 2018, has been published. It is a publication edited by the Menorca Biosphere Reserve Agency and UNESCO that exposes all the work done during the last congress, which gathered delegates representing 46 biosphere reserves around the world.

The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve is ready to host the next Meeting of the WNICBR, which will be held in Gourika Reserve from 16th to 20th of September.

The call for the 7th Training course for Island and Coastal BR managers is open. It will take place in Jeju from Oct. 30 to Nov.1, 2019. Jeju Secretariat is about to start accepting application forms from interested managers. Find more details and the application form in the attached documents.

The 15th Newsletter, published by the Jeju Secretariat, has been issued to keep you informed about the last news of the WNICBR activities, the announcement of the forthcoming Meeting and the most relevant news from our partners. As a new element we have launched the Zero Plastic News.

The International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s MAB Programme meeting in Paris from 17 to 21 June added 18 new sites in 12 countries to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which now numbers 701 biosphere reserves in 124 countries around the globe. It also approved the extension of eight existing biosphere reserves, four of which are members of our Network.

The April 2019 EuroMAB Conference in Dublin (2-5 April 2019) set the stage for members of the Zero Plastic Working Group to gather along with other conference participants for the Tackling Plastic Pollution Workshop. Rooted in this workshop, we are launching a global call for Biosphere Reserves to join us in facing the challenge of plastic pollution, with the aim of minimizing the harmful consequences stemming from the abusive use of plastic.

The Cabildo of Lanzarote and the Insular Council of Menorca closed on Monday, March 11, with the reading of a joint statement, the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the declaration of both biosphere reserves (Unesco). As a result of this twinning and the will of both administrations to commemorate the 25th anniversary, different acts and joint activities by the two islands have been carried out during 2018 and 2019.

Keep updated about our network members news with the latest issue of the Newsletter, N. 14, published by the Jeju Secretariat. News on the last training course held in Jeju and the process of defining the Network's workplan are included, as well as the inputs from BR members.

During the week of November 19th, the international scientific community will share findings from their most recent research at the MICRO 2018 conference in Lanzarote. The World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves and its Zero Plastic working group will take part in the conference, which is sponsored by UNESCO.

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World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves The World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves was launched in 2009 by UNESCO MAB Programme to foster sustainable development in islands and coastal areas and to promote adaptation and mitigation strategies on climate change. ABOUT
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