Barra Menús

jueves, 19 de junio de 2014

Thirteen new Unesco Biosphere Reserves

Thirteen new sites have been added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which now includes 631 sites in 119 countries, 14 of which are transboundary sites.  The new reserves were designated by the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme, at its meeting in Jönkoping (Sweden) and in the East Vättern Landscape biosphere reserve, from 10 to 13 June.

© UNESCO/Victoria Kovshar, Turtle Emys orbicularis - Ak-Zhayink (Kazakhstan)

These are the new sites and, on the other hand, the extensions of

  • Ohrid-PrespaTransboundary Reserve (Republic of Albania/f Republic of Macedonia)
  • Valdes Biosphere Reserve (Argentina)
  • Crocker Range (Malaysia)
  • Bioma Pampa-Quebradas del Norte (Uruguay)
  • Laguna Oca del Río Paraguay Biosphere Reserve (Argentina) Extension
  • Shiga Highland Biosphere Reserve (Japan) Extension

© UNESCO/Tadami, Tadami (Japon)
© UNESCO/Rich Howorth, Brighton & Hove and Lewes Downs (United Kingdom)

martes, 10 de junio de 2014

Biosphere reserves in a nutshell

What are UNESCO biosphere reserves? How do they work? How does the balance between the interests of environmental protection and social and economic development work? This 3-minutes video prepared by the German Commission for UNESCO jointly with German biosphere reserves, explains you these and other related issues about biosphere reserves.

jueves, 5 de junio de 2014

Sustainability in Tenerife: Using Geomatics to Promote Biospheres

One of the island of Tenerife’s leading geomatics experts has spoken at a sustainability conference that took place at the RAC Club at Pall Mall on Friday May 2 2014.

The event, which was hosted by scientific field trip organisersGeoTenerife, contained talks by a number of leading scientists and government officials from the island.

Dr Javier Pérez Marrero, of the Sustainability Observatory for the Biosphere of El Hierro, delivered a fascinating talk on the work done by Interra to promote sustainability in biospheres.

This geomatic tool digests lots of data into an accessible format

In his talk, he explained that Biosphere Smart was an ICT tool to help achieve a sustainable future through territorial intelligence. It is used by UNESCO to share ideas and knowledge amongst biosphere reserves, including the island of El Hierro. Adopted by UNESCO's Man and Biosphere International Coordination Council, it is devoted to helping biospheres accomplish their mandate. 

"ICT can provide a lot of relevant data but this must be translated into useful information," he said. "If people are taking important decisions about their environment and energy policies, they need qualified information."

Biosphere Smart was also developed as a key tool to support governments ensure future investments fall within required parameters. "When a territory is awarded a Biosphere Reserve title, it is committed to accomplishing several mandates," said Marrero.

According to Sharon Backhouse, Director of GeoTenerife, this tool will be helpful on a number of levels. "Firstly, it allows us all to look at complex information in a user-friendly way. Want to know where the best spot is to put a wind farm in Tenerife? This geomatic tool digests lots of data into an accessible format to do just that. But it is a lot more than that. 

“We all know how unsustainable unchecked development was in the past. You only have to look at some of the bloated tourist developments by the coast in some towns in the Canary Islands to see evidence of that. Thankfully, we are entering a new era, one where there is more respect shown for the delicate ecosystems on these beautiful islands. There is no reason why development, investment and the environment cannot be respectful of each other. Biosphere Smart is a tool that will allow governments, planners, investors - any one of us, in fact, to make smarter, greener choices."

Dr Pérez Marrero delivered his talk to a room filled with representatives from dozens of UK-based renewable energy companies, along with delegates from African embassies and educationalists.

Also present at the conference was the Cabildo de Tenerife, which was represented on the day by Miguel Diaz Llanos (Councillor responsible for Energy) and Eduardo Pintado Mascareno (Councillor responsible for Commerce)