SPAIN CELEBRATES UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVES
Spain UNESCO Biosphere reserves
Spain is proud to have 53 sites that are designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. These sitesare recognised as being important terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems.
The environmental standards of the reserves are continuously monitored in order to protectthese natural areas for future generations to enjoy. The sites are maintained to conserve the biodiversity and cultural diversity of the areas, encourage economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable, and support development through research, monitoring, education, and training.
For 2023, various Biosphere Reserves across Spain are celebrating significant anniversaries. The Sierras de Cazorla in Jaen and Marismas del Odiel in Huelva are both celebrating 40 years of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve recognition. The islands of the islands of Lanzarote and Menorca celebrate their 30-years.
Home to nearly 220 species of birds and 1000 species of plants, 60 of which are endemic to this northernmost island of the Balearic archipelago, the UNESCO Natural Biosphere Reserve of Menorca has remarkable diversity of flora and fauna. Since October 1993, it has been recognised by UNESCO for the exceptional conservation of both its heritage and landscape. Visitors to Menorca can immerse themselves in its unspoiled rural countryside by exploring varied landscapes on foot, horseback or by bicycle. The Camí de Cavalls, a historic path navigating the entire coastline, has been improved in recent years with new footpaths and stone hedges to make Menorca’s impressive scenery more accessible to visitors.
Lanzarote’s UNESCO reserve, also declared in 1993, is equally beautiful. Due to a series of volcanic eruptions taking place throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the volcanic soil on the island has birthed luxurious vegetation. The heritage site covers 127,000 hectares of sub-tropical land surrounding Timanfaya National Park and a marine ecosystem comprising of gorgeous isles and countless bird species, many of which are endemic. Networks of volcanic tunnels spread throughout the reserve which are carefully maintained to allow visitors to explore and experience without harming the surrounding rock.