Less than few days to the beginning of UNESCO Summer University. This is an International initiative of the Regional Bureau for Europe, based in Venice (BRESCHE). It was started four years ago and aims to attract and train young specialists from all over the world on topics related to the development of biosphere reserves. Bulgaria is a host for the first year of the event and activities will be performed in the southern and northern part of Central Balkan Biosphere Reserve.
The official opening of this year’s edition of the Summer University is on July 22nd, Monday from 9.00 at the hall in Karlovo Municipality. Welcome addresses will be delivered by the Mayor of the town of Karlovo Emil Kabaivanov, the Director of Directorate “National Nature Protection Service” with MOEW Miroslav Kalugerov, the Permanent Representation of UNESCO in Bulgaria Hristo Georgiev, Director of Central Balkan National Park Gencho Iliev and the honorary guest from the MAB UNESCO Programme Jonathan Baker. All mayors of municipalities on the territory of the Biosphere Park have been invited.
For a whole week between 21st and 28th of July Bulgaria will bring together over 30 young experts, PhDs, and representatives of local communities located near biosphere parks from three continents. They have been selected from 125 applicants from all over the world. The participants from Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Jordan, Cyprus, Mexico, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Tunisia, Ukraine, France, and Chile will discuss the future of biosphere parks in Bulgaria and globally with the assistance of Bulgarian and international lecturers from Greece, Italy, and Spain.
The programme includes practice, theory and group work, based on the following topics: MAB Programme, Management and Local Policies; Sustainable Tourism and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); Sustainable Agriculture, Local Products and Business; Branding and Marketing; Science and Tourism; Conclusions, Recommendations and Evaluation
The summer biosphere adventure will also include botanic tours and visits to biological farms, eco-hotels, wineries, eco-trails, cultural and natural sites, organized with the active participation of representatives of the local business and the local authorities in the region of Biosphere Reserve “Central Balkan”. Apart from local traditions and sites, a number of good practices will also be demonstrated and experts from Italy will present successful examples related to biosphere parks and gourmet tourism.
The UNESCO Summer University will finish with a public conclusive session, whereby all recommendations and suggestions for future projects and initiatives both on the local and the international level will be summarized. It will be held on July 26th, Friday from 5 p.m. at the Cultural Information Centre in Troyan with the participation of the Mayor of Troyan Municipality Donka Mihajlova.
Summer University of UNESCO MAB Programme aims at popularization of biosphere reserves and the opportunities, which they offer. By suggesting good practices from Italy, Greece and France Summer University of UNESCO aims to demonstrate how can be used the trade mark of biosphere reserve for successful business, based on sustainable use of nature resources and keeping the focus on the environment. The event is an excellent chance for the stakeholders to get acquainted with the perspectives, which reveal before them as they are living and working on the territory of the Biosphere reserve on UNESCO MAB Program.
Main organiser of UNESCO Summer University is Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation with the support of: the Central Balkan Biosphere Reserve, UNESCO Regional Bureau of Science and Culture in Europe, Ministry of Environment and Water of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development, UNESCO Chair and Network on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean of the University of Athens, Karlovo Municipality, Troyan Municipality, Permanent Representation of UNESCO in Bulgaria, local organic pharms, winery, hotels, which are hosts and sponsors of the events in the region.
Other partners: Chateau Copsa, Rozino Organic Farm and Gelatto and Latte, Lift Sopot, Hotel Casa Art, Oreshak, Troyan, National Exhibition of Crafts and Arts in Oreshak, “Edinenie” (Unity) project
More about the MAB Program: The MAB Program started in 1971 in order to preserve nature through establishing of worldwide network of Biosphere Reserves. Nowadays, there are over 650 Biosphere reserves in 120 countries around the world, among which there are 4 biosphere reserves in Bulgaria. The biggest one is Central Balkan Biosphere Reserve, which includes the territories between 4 Municipalities: Karlovo, Troyan, Anton and Sevlievo.