Title: La Palma: a biosphere reserve in evolution

Authors: Antonio San Blas

Addresses: Gerente del Consorcio de la Reserva de la Biosfera, Avda. Maritima, 3, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma (Canaria), Spain

Abstract: La Palma was the first biosphere reserve in the Canary Islands – June 1983: Los Tiles – and its original objective was to protect the Laurisilva macaronesica. However, the role of biosphere reserves evolved rapidly and they soon became a pioneer reference for sustainable development, working with three main functions: conservation, development and logistical support. This led to a first extension in 1997, covering 19.67% of the total of the island and projecting the beneficial effects to the rest of the territory. But it was not until 6th November 2002 that UNESCO approved to include the entire territory of the island as Biosphere Reserve – La Palma World Biosphere Reserve. In the last four years, an assimilation process has been developed. The Biosphere Reserve Management has worked with an Action Plan that provides specific proposals for the challenges faced to achieve the goals of the three functions.

Keywords: biosphere reserves; sustainable development goals; conservation; logistical support; sustainable tourism; sustainability; Canary Islands.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2008.018364

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2008 Vol.7 No.2, pp.216 - 228

Published online: 18 May 2008 *

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