MAB Programme Spain

Spanish Biosphere Reserves in the Law 42/2007

In Spain, the figure of Biosphere Reserve is defined in the Law 42/2007, of 13th of December, of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity as protected areas by international organisations, which conveys a legal obligation to the voluntary commitment, acquired in the context of MAB Programme. The Law specifies the goals of the Network of Biosphere Reserves in Spain as follows:

  • To keep a defined and interconnected group of “natural laboratories”; comparable stations tracking the relationships between human communities and the territories where they evolve, paying special attention to the process of mutual adaptation and the changes generated.
  • To ensure the continuous effective comparison and the transference of information generated as a consequence in the settings where the application results.
  • To promote the generalisation of models of organisation and sustainable management of the territory.

The MAB Committee in Spain is the collegiate organ with assessing and scientific character, appointed by the Ministry of Environment, whose composition, contents and roles will be defined according to regulation. The MAB Committee will realise the required evaluations of each Biosphere Reserve, taking into account its adjustment to the goals and established requirements and, if necessary, proposing the correction of contradictory aspects.

Moreover, the Law specifies in the article 67 Characteristics of Biosphere Reserves that the Biosphere Reserves, in order to achieve its integration and maintenance as such, will have to respect the rules applicable dictated by UNESCO and to count with, at least:

  • A spacial organisation integrated by:
    1. One or various core areas of the Reserve that are protected natural spaces, which the basic objectives of preserving the biological diversity and the ecosystems, that count with the appropriate plan of organisation, use and management which basically promotes such goals.
    2. One or protected areas of the core areas, which allow for the integration of the basic preservation of the core area with the sustainable environmental development in the protected area through the corresponding plan of organisation, use and management, specific or part of the plan of the respective core areas.
    3. One or various transition areas between the Reserve and the rest of the space, which allow for the stimulation in socioeconomical development to improve the well-being of the population, taking advantage of the potentials and specific resources of the Reserve in a sustainable manner, respecting the objectives of such and the Biosphere Person Reserve Programme.
  • A set of specific evolution strategies towards the goals mentioned earlier, with its corresponding action programme and an indicator system adapted to the one established by the MAB Committee in Spain, which allows for a valuation of the compliance degree of the objectives of the MAB Programme.
  • A management organisation responsible for the development of the strategies, lines of action and programmes.