Building peace in the minds of men and women

Nature-based solutions for marine and coastal biosphere reserves

The project

This project aims to carry out an initial assessment and mapping of coastal vulnerability in the Archipielago de Juan Fernandez, Galapagos and Noroeste Amotapes-Manglares Biosphere Reserves, as well as potential nature-based solutions, and will serve as a pilot case in order to design a large-scale project proposal. The target group will include MAB focal points, MAB national committees, biosphere reserve management committees, as well as academic institutions, and local communities, especially the most vulnerable groups, such as women, youth and indigenous peoples.


Islands and coastal areas, while representing a wide range of contexts, have shared characteristics and face common challenges. They are sensitive sites due to their high level of biodiversity and the significant amount of endemism and fragile and rare ecosystems that they shelter. They are particularly vulnerable to processes of global change, such as climate change, but they also have great potential for the study of these changes and the implementation and testing of sustainable development policies.

Climate change effects as well as various human land-based activities, including agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, urban development, mining, industry and marine-based activities have significant direct and indirect effects on the marine coastal environment of Chile, Ecuador and Peru. These activities provide an important source of employment and important socio-economic benefits, but also cause environmental degradation such as pollution, poor land planning and unsustainable economic activities.

Supporting local economic growth by safeguarding coastal ecosystems

Healthy costal ecosystems support economies and communities with important goods and services such as fisheries, tourism, raw materials and protection from natural hazards. Coastal areas attract tourism and recreation activities that can bring economic benefits to inhabitants, but also stress to ecosystems through soil erosion, increased pollution and use of freshwater resource, natural habitat loss, and more pressure on endangered species. Coastal ecosystems protect people, infrastructure and economic activities from floods, erosion and sea level rise.  The coastal and island ecosystem has a critical role in protecting and conserving coastlines, as it allows to dampen waves, attenuate water flow and flooding, and reduces storm water runoff. It also participates in processes of regeneration, trapping and distribution of sediments. Thus, integrated coastal zone management that incorporates nature-based solutions can offer sustainable, long term solution as natural ecosystems can grow stronger over time, providing more robust coastal protection. In addition, an ecosystem-based approach can address hazards, reduce vulnerability and increase resilience.

Implementation locations

Noroeste Amotapes-Manglares







Located in the northeast of Peru, the Noroeste Amotapes-Manglares Biosphere Reserve is most famous for the mangroves of Tumbes, the largest area of mangrove forest in Peru. The site also includes areas of the western foothills of the Andes, with altitudes up to 3,080 meters, which has resulted in a unique biological diversity with a high degree of endemism. Read more

Galapagos Biosphere Reserve







As of 2015, the Galapagos Islands were home to more than 25,200 human inhabitants. The five populated islands are generally the largest in the archipelago and contain natural resources that can sustain the life and development of the communities. Red more

Archipielago de Juan Fernandez







The Juan Fernandez Biosphere Reserve is situated 650 km from the Chilean coast in the Pacific Ocean. It includes the whole Archipelago with the islands of Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk and Santa Clara and all the islets in the area. The Juan Fernandez Archipelago is volcanic in origin, with steep, rugged mountain ranges with deep ravines. Read more