Obituary: Pedro Araya, National Focal Point in Chile for the MAB Programme
Mr Pedro Araya Rosas, who held the position of National Focal Point in Chile for the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme as Head of the Department of Zoning and Planning in the Management of Protected Areas Corporation (CONAF), passed away on Thursday, 15 November at 9.30 p.m. in Davila Clinic in Santiago, Chile.
Since his designation as focal point for the MAB Programme, Pedro Araya Rosas, inspired with motivation and dedication, promoted the work of CONAF and all stakeholders who actively participated in the MAB Programme at the national and international level. Mr Araya did not despair and continued with his duties despite the diagnosis of his disease that would eventually take his life. Since 2004, Pedro Araya Rosas continuously promoted the MAB Programme in his role as focal point. Among his achievements were the nominations of the Biosphere Reserves Cabo de Hornos, Bosques Templados Australes and Bosques Corredor Biológico Nevados de Chillan-Laguna del Laja and improvements made to existing biosphere reserves. He actively participated in regional cooperation programmes such as the ASPACO Project (Asian-Pacific Cooperation for the Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources in Biosphere Reserves and Similar Managed Areas) and contributed to the editing of numerous UNESCO publications such as “Biosphere Reserve: a space for integration of conservation and development” ; “Biosphere Reserves: their contribution to providing ecosystem services” and “The Biosphere Reserve Model and Instruments for Its Sustainable Use: the Case of Chile”.
At the level of IberoMAB, Mr Araya’s work has been prominent since he organized the XI Meeting of IberoMAB in Chile and he produced the basic document for the medium term evaluation to create an Action Plan for IberoMAB 2010-2020. Lastly, Mr Araya was nominated President of the IberoMAB Network for the period 2011-2014. All these activities demonstrate his unending commitment and dedication. His passing away is a great loss for the MAB Programme and the IberoMAB Network.