The University of Zambia and Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Science Prof Cyprian Katongo has been nominated to represent Zambia on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and Biosphere International Coordinating Committee (UNESCO MAB ICC) for the next four years.
The UNESCO MAB is one of the five UNESCO programmes under its Natural Sciences theme. MAB programme aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments. It combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and manage ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.
Since 1974 Zambia has been aiming at establishing its first biosphere reserve but up to date, this has not been possible because of various reasons. Therefore, Prof Katongo’s membership on the ICC is expected to help with the speedy establishment of at least the first biosphere reserve in Zambia.
The membership of Prof. Katongo on the UNESCO MAB ICC will further help to highlight Zambia’s scientific research needs and will also help Zambia access information about UNESCO’s research focus, access to resources for research as well as networks of potential collaborator institutions and researchers.
Prof. Katongo who is an Associate Professor of Genetics and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Zambia has been an active member of the National MAB Committee of Zambia since 2007 and has represented Zambia at different meetings of the African Chapter of the MAB Programme.