International Biosphere Reserve Day
Ana María Pujante Mora
The 3rd of November has been declared by UNESCO as the International Day of Biosphere Reserves and Big History does not want to miss the opportunity to celebrate it in its first year.
With the declaration of this International Day UNESCO aims to:
- To conserve nature, protecting biodiversity and cultural diversity.
- Promote scientific research, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training.
- Promote socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable economic development.
- To foster the growth of local economies.
Biosphere Reserves are places where humanity and nature should coexist in a sustainable and harmonious relationship, based on ethics and respect. To date, some 700 Biosphere Reserves have been declared, where more than 260 million people live and more than 7 million km2 are protected.
Spain has 54 Biosphere Reserves, making it the country with the highest number. These Reserves are spread throughout the country, including the Balearic and Canary Islands:
Aras de los Olmos is one of the municipalities of the Alto Turia Reserve, whose managing body is the Mancomunidad del Alto Turia. The following figure shows the area of the Reserve (67,082.36 hectares), distributed along the axis of the River Turia as it passes through the “Comarca de los Serranos”:
Biosphere Reserves are organised into three types of zones:
- Core areas: Areas of adequate size dedicated to long-term nature conservation, in accordance with the objectives of the Reserve, being formed mainly by areas already integrated in the Natura 2000 Network and the system of Protected Areas.
- Buffer zones: Areas around the core zones where only activities compatible with nature conservation are carried out, constituting one of the most important technical challenges in the definition of the zoning strategy, given the minimal inclusion of these areas under legal protection.
- Transition zones: Where sustainable resource management practices are carried out.
The fact that the River Turia at its entry into the Valencian Community practically runs through canyons for more than 70 km, has determined its excellent state of conservation and its declaration as a Biosphere Reserve.
In 2016, the Spanish Biosphere Reserves brand was created, governed by Royal Decree 599/2016 of 5 December, to differentiate the artisanal and natural products and services of the municipalities that form part of the reserves and that contribute to the basic functions of conservation, development and logistical support of the Reserves.