The book Reservas de la Biosfera de Chile — Laboratorios para la Sustentabilidad (Biosphere Reserves of Chile — Laboratory for Sustainability) is the result of three years of joint work between Chilean scientists from the Institute of Geography at the Catholic University of Chile and Austrian scientists from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. This close collaboration allowed the scientists to gather information about biosphere reserves in both countries and learn from each other’s experiences.
The concept of this book was inspired by a white paper on Austrian biosphere reserves, Leben in Vielfalt (Life in Diversity), which included the participation of notable European scientists and protected area managers. This publication on Chilean biosphere reserve aims not only to stimulate research and improve the management of biosphere reserves, but also to motivate interest among the Chilean population about the uniqueness of the ecosystems and human livelihoods in biosphere reserves. The book presents each of the biosphere reserves in Chile through informational texts and images, providing descriptions of their natural and cultural heritage.
The book is dedicated to Pedro Araya Rosas, who held the position of National Focal Point in Chile for UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme, as Head of the Department of Zoning and Planning in the Management of Protected Areas Corporation (CONAF), and who was a tireless promoter of the biosphere reserve concept in Chile.