Cabildo de Lanzarote

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Lanzarote was declared Reserve of the Biosphere in 1993 by the UNESCO. This declaration asked for the Town Council of Lanzarote was unusual in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves because most of the other Biosphere Reserves were protected land areas where the population never took part.

However, Lanzarote was completely involved with the UNESCO, with its fragile territory highly inhabited, unique landscapes and a tourist industry that had it first strong growth and crisis in1992-1993.

In 1995, The International Conference of Biosphere Reserves Experts, celebrated in Seville to evaluate and reorganize its operation since the Rio Conference of 1992, established some guidelines for the Biosphere Reserves and Lanzarote, together with Menorca, had an early answer.

After that conference, the UNESCO approved the
Seville Strategy whose main purpose for the XXI century consist of learning to do better what we do bad today and not only in the preservation of beautiful landscapes. It also renewed the objectives and it estabished new commitments for all the Biosphere Reserves.

Today the maB (Man and Biosphere) program of the UNESCO has complex and inhabited Biosphere Reserves that faces up to the own contradictions of our civilization. To be a Reserve of the Biosphere means to make evident the conflict between preservation and development, between short and long term and between public goods and private interest.

Lanzarote begins its walk as Reserve of the Biosphere in 1996, creating in 1996 the
Council of the Biosphere Reserve of Lanzarote and it has to watch over the fulfillment of the commitments acquired with the UNESCO.

But it is in 1998, with the approval of the
Lanzarote in the Biosphere Strategy (Strategy L+B) when Lanzarote begins to develop the declaration within a strong social and politic debate about the risks and insular opportunities in its future. With the main purpose to supervise the rate of tourism growth, in the year 2000 is approved a revision of the PIOT, the so-called "Tourist Moratorium" and with the aim of showing the society the evolution of the island, in the year 2000 was also approved the Lanzarote Observatory.

In 2000 The European Union accepted the Life Proposal
(Lanzarote in the Biosphere2) where the Town Council asked support to explore new tools to deal with legal, financial and administrative problems to try to avoid the development of new tourist accommodation resorts, otherwise the impact would be terrible for the environment and for the insular society.

"...today there is a high increase in the resident population, with saturated public servicies, strange social and coexistence values of the island society, a degradation of industrial relations and with Civil Services that go well beyond the limits due to the constant requests of the population."


The European Union also supports the procedures of the Town Council: specific environmental policies ( the Balearic tourist tax, "ecotasa" is an insufficient precedent), that could find possibilities to protect the biodiversity, environmental restorations, reduction of consumption and emisions (water, energy, residues, transport), but, the most important, the rescue of consolidated building rights.

The insular society, together with the new
Life Lanzarote 2001-2004, will have, new politic and economic guidances, as well as impulses and recourses useful to recuperate the proposal of the Lanzarote in the Biosphere Strategy

 

biosfera@cabildodelanzarote.com