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
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
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