South-east Pacific countries in Latin America discuss better management of coastal areas through biosphere reserves

The 2nd meeting of the project ‘Biosphere Reserves as a Tool for Coastal and Island Management in the South-East Pacific Region (BRESEP)’ took place in Lima, Peru from 1 to 3 July 2015. The meeting was organized by the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State.

This three-year project financed by the Flemish Government of Belgium and coordinated by the MAB Programme is designed to create and strengthen existing biosphere reserves in coastal areas and islands of the eastern South Pacific in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Peru. It also aims to promote biosphere reserves as tools for innovative projects to bring added value to local socio-economic activities, and to sensitize and build the capacity of stakeholders in the area.

The project was officially launched in December 2014 in the city of Castro, Chiloe Island, Chile.

At the meeting the five countries presented progress made since December 2014 and short and long-term initiatives and activities identified within the framework of this project. Chile will focus its efforts on the extension of the Juan Fernandez Biosphere Reserve and will assess the possibility of creating a new biosphere reserve on the Island of Chiloé. Peru will work to extend the Noreste Biosphere Reserve to include the mangroves of Tumbes. Ecuador will focus on the management plan of the Archipielago de Colon Biosphere Reserve and explore the possibility of establishing a new biosphere reserve in the Gulf of Guayaquil. Colombia will explore the possibilities of establishing a biosphere reserve in the Pacific coast and Panama will concentrate on the extension of the Darien Biosphere Reserve to cover a marine and coastal area.

The five countries agreed to meet again in Ecuador in November 2015. A side event on coastal and marine biosphere reserves will be organized at the World Congress of Biosphere Reserves, due to take place in March 2016 in Lima, Peru.