MAB Programme Spain


As a member of UNESCO with full rights, Spain has been developing an intense work to put into practice the purposes and aims of the MAB Programme, on a national and international scale. This task was motivated at first by the MAB National Committee of Spain and, progressively, diverse instances of the Administration have joined it, as well as entities and private agents.

The UNESCO MAB National Committee of Spain, since its creation in 1975 in the heart of the Spanish National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO, has experimented a great evolution in which various stages can be identified:

  • Between 1975 and 1987 the MAB National Committee of Spain worked as a work group in the framework within the Spanish National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO. At this stage the composition of its members showed a predominantly scientific character, although representatives from the areas of management and Administration were progressively incorporated.
  • In 1988, with the creation of a support Office for the MAB Committee in the General Environmental Management of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the activities of the MAB Committee experimented a great boost that, throughout the years, was focused on the figure of the biosphere. As a result, in 1992 a technical work group was created to work on biosphere reserves that set out the beginning of the task on the Net in the Spanish sphere. The development of this group's work ended with Spain's contribution to the meeting of the Second International Conference of Biosphere Reserves, Seville 95, convened by UNESCO. The period 1988-1966 can be considered a period of acceptance and mutual interest between the MAB National Committee of Spain and the public environmental institutions, on a state as well as an autonomous scale.
  • The Royal Decree 1894/1996, of 2nd of August, referring to the structure of the Ministry of Environment, assigns the National Parks Autonomous Agency (OAPN) the roles of coordination and development of the MAB Programme. These purposes of coordination have remained and are still in force until the present time according to the Royal Decree 1130/2008, of the 4th of July, referring to the organic structure of the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs. Therefore, since 1996, the OAPN has been encouraging a technical office that has, in turn, been supporting the evolution of the activities of the MAB Committee.
  • During the period between 1996 and 2007, the actions for the development of the MAB Programme continued under the authority of the MAB Committee, standing out the increase in the number of Spanish biosphere reserves and the push given from Spain to the Network IberoMAB.
  • The Royal Decree 342/2007, of 9th of March, regulates the development of the roles of the MAB Programme, as well as the Spanish Committee and its advisory authorities –The National Council for Scientific Research and the Management Council— of the programme mentioned, in the National Parks Autonomous Agency. This Royal Decree, with which the current period is initiated, has specified the way to practise the roles of the National Parks Autonomous Agency, it also has ensured the institutional support to the functioning of the MAB Programme in Spain and has meant a new drive to the development of the activities of the Programme. Almost simultaneously, the inclusion of the Biosphere Reserves in the Law 42/2007 of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity has given normative support and has consolidated the Network of Biosphere Reserves in Spain.

Video Network of Biosphere Reserves in Spain