IberoMAB Biosphere Reserves pledge for a sustainable 'new normal' to overcome the COVID19 crisis

15/10/2020

The IberoMAB Network, comprising biosphere reserves in Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain released a declaration detailing the actions it will undertake to prompt recovery in the sites and strengthen the community

Comprising 22 countries from Latin American and the Caribbean, as well as Portugal and Spain, the Ibero-American MAB Network, has jointly released a Declaration on the COVID19 pandemic.

Acknowledging it will have a strong impact on the present and the future of the biosphere, the network points out the pandemic highlighted inequalities and unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. Thus, recovery must address these issues in order to prevent a recovery based on an increase in monocultures, an extension of the current area of cultivated land and, consequently, a decrease in forest cover.

We are at a critical time for the biosphere and the planet. Biosphere reserves have the potential to provide answers and innovative nature-based solutions that integrate rural and urban populations as part of a common vision for the environment, diversity and well-being.

IberoMAB's Declaration on the COVID19 pandemic

Recognizing the role of biosphere reserves in contributing for a 'better normal' after this time of crisis, the Network has proposed to:

  1. To widely disseminate their potential for creating within their environment prospects for change and innovation in the relationship between society and the environment, at both local and regional level.
  2. Empower the entire community, with an emphasis on vulnerable groups, women, indigenous peoples and youth, to encourage new generations to contribute to improving the design of the structure and function of the reserves, and to successfully address changes that arise in the future.
  3. Manage external support and resources to develop initiatives and demonstrate results through scientific and technical research projects for development.
  4. Remain informed and present in national and international forums of biological and social research and the humanities in order to publicize their achievements and compare their results with specialists.
  5. Use the action and management plans of biosphere reserves to enrich and strengthen local, regional and national government plans for environmental, biological and cultural diversity and sustainable development.

Access the full version of the declaration.

The IberoMAB Network aims at strengthening the MAB Programme in Latin American and Caribbean countries, Spain and Portugal, notably by consolidating their MAB National Committees and co-operative links, and promoting the creation of new biosphere reserves.

Check out the biosphere reserves of Latin America and the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain.