From Seville Strategy to Madrid Plan of Action
The concept of biosphere reserves was devised by a task force of UNESCO’s MAB Programme in 1974, followed by the launch of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) in 1976.
In 1995 an international conference in Seville, Spain, started a new era for the WNBR. The actions decided on at that meeting were incorporated in the Seville Strategy and the Statutory Framework of the WNBR, both approved by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1995.
In Pamplona, Spain in 2000, a Seville+5 meeting was held and various actions were decided on, following up on the strategic recommendations from Seville.
In 2008, the Madrid Action Plan (MAP) was agreed upon and adopted by the 3rd World Congress of Biosphere Reserves and the MAB ICC. It builds on the Seville Strategy and aims to capitalize on the strategic advantages of the Seville instruments and raise biosphere reserves to be the principal internationally-designated areas dedicated to sustainable development in the 21st century.
The MAP sets the agenda for the MAB Programme and its WNBR in the period 2008-2013, focusing on developing models for global, national and local sustainability, and use of biosphere reserves as learning sites for policy professionals, decision-makers, research and scientific communities, management practitioners and stakeholder communities to work together to translate global principles of sustainable development into locally relevant praxis.