Archives for October 2015

Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve Event in Scotland – Featured BR: Galloway & Southern Ayrshire

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere

Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere
Today we are kicking of our Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve event in Scotland. As we mentioned in our first article,  this event is hosted by Assist Social Capital (ASC). And after introducing the Swedish  Lake Vänern Biosphere, we are introducing the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere where the conference will be hosted at.


About the Biosphere Reserve

Initially, Cairnsmore, Silver Flowe and Merriick Kells became an UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve (BR) in 1976. But when UNESCO redefined Biosphere Reserves in the 1990s, this meant that the existing biosphere reserve needed to be broadened and redefined, as well, focusing more - next to conservation and research - on the people's relationship with the environment which meant including more social as well as economic aspects and how they can be brought together with nature. This redefinition of the biosphere reserve meant that existing BRsGalloway and South Ayrshire - Cornish_Hill needed to decide whether they want to carry the new model forward or withdraw from the designation. After local consultations, the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire put forward an application to be designated under the new criteria.  In 2012, the designation for the 'new' biosphere was approved. The new Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 526,888 hectare in the South of Scotland. 

(read more about the biosphere here)

Support the economy to benefit people and nature

This principle to support the economy to benefit people and nature is one of the six principles of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Charter which defines its values and principles. Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere pulluphydrostnSubsequently, one of the key goals of the biosphere is also to foster a sustainable economy and society within which businesses can develop: "Evidence suggests that successful Biospheres are those where businesses and communities actively collaborate, sharing ideas and good practice of social, economic and environmental sustainability. Working together to develop mutual understanding and for common purpose can help develop new ideas and better, more joined up ways of working, which themselves can better focus existing resources and attract additional resources." (G&SA website: Business Development)


Galloway and South Ayrshire - lochdeeYou can follow our conversations on the event and online on Facebook and Twitter @AssistSocCap under #SEBRScotland #Biosphere Reserves #WCBRLima #Social Enterprise







Our Development Framework

Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve Event in Scotland – Featured BR: Lake Vänern

Lake Vänern Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, Sweden

As part of our Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve Event in Scotland at the end of the month, we are featuring some of the attendees biosphere reserves who are already working with this approach. As mentioned in our first article, the event is hosted by Assist Social Capital and co-facilitated by Colin Campbell (Assist Social Capital) and Johanna MacTaggart who is the coordinator of MAB Sweden and the Lake Vänern Archipelago Biosphere Reserve.

Lake Vanern BR -Sweden- LogoAbout the Biosphere Reserve

The Archipelago and Mount Kinekulle became an UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve in 2010. It is covers part of the Lake Vänern drainage basin and involves three local municipalities encompassing an area of ca. 278.600 hectare with about 75.000 inhabitants. The Biosphere Reserve itself is run as a non-profit organisation.

(get more info on the BR here)

A socio-environmentally responsive business model

As one of the largest inland lakes and fresh water reserves within Europe, Lake Vänern also has one of the largest fishing fleets. The sustainability of this ecosystem is crucial for the region to ensure clean water, a healthy fish population and food quality. This aspect of sustainable livelihoods alongside maintaining biodiversity provides a common ground for collaboration from  industries as differing as Ecotourism and Fisheries. Along the same line Social entrepreneurship provides the local economy with a business model directly deriving from social as well as environmental challenges. This provides an innovative and entrepreneurial approach responsive to socio-environmental as well as socio-economic needs in the region.

Additionally, stakeholder collaboration has been encouraged in the region to ensure that local decision-makers, businesses and civil society can overcome issues through taking joint responsibility on developing, ensuring and maintaining the Lake Vänern Biosphere.


Social Media Icons - Commons PictureYou can also contribute to and/or follow our conversations on the event and the related issues on Facebook and Twitter @AssistSocCap under #SEBRScotland #Biosphere Reserves #WCBRLima #Social Enterprise


Our Development Framework

Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserves Event in Scotland II

Towards a World MAB Social Enterprise Strategy (2016-2025)

SCOTLAND, as announced a few weeks ago Assist Social Capital will be hosting a conference on social enterprise and biosphere reserves at the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve. The meeting is aimed at bringing national as well as international participants from biosphere reserves together to contribute to the MAB Action Plan 2016-2015 which will be launched in Lima next year.

UNESCO 4th WCBR LimaA new Action Plan for the WNBR

The aim of the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves is to create a post-2015 agenda for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). Therefore, the Madrid Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves (2008-2013) as well as the Seville Strategy and the Statutory Framework (1995) will be reviewed to identify and discuss progress made, lessons learnt and old as well as new challenges for the WNBR. The expected outcome of the congress is to create the Lima Declaration and the Lima Action Plan for 2016-2025 which will outline the role of biosphere reserves for sustainable development over the next decade.

Including Social Enterprise in the new Action Plan

As sustainable development aims at achieving a balance between social, economic as well as environmental factors, social enterprise provide a valuable solution as they are value-based businesses which reinvest their profits in social and environmental benefits to their local as well as wider communities. Therefore, we already have developed the Social Enterprise & Biosphere Reserves Development Framework as part of our work with a EuroMAB working group aiming at introducing the concept of social enterprise into biosphere reserves. Together with our partners in Europe but also further abroad in Canada and Asia, we have worked on bringing this idea into the WNBRs.

Social Media Icons - Commons PictureYou can also contribute to and/or follow our conversations on the event and the related issues on Facebook and Twitter @AssistSocCap under #SEBRScotland #Biosphere Reserves #WCBRLima #Social Enterprise


Our Development Framework