The Seville Conference and the Statutory Framework 1995
The Vision from Seville for the Twenty-first Century
Among the perspectives examined by the Seville Conference on Biosphere Reserves, in March 1995, was the prospect for environment-development relations in the twenty-first century, and the possible role of biosphere reserves in contributing to effective responses to emerging trends and problems. Thus biosphere reserves were poised to take a new role. Not only will they be a means for people who live and work within and around them to attain a dynamic sustainable relationship with the environment and its resources, they will also contribute to the needs of society as a whole, by showing the way to a more sustainable present, and thus future. This is at the heart of the Seville vision for biosphere reserves for the twenty-first century.
Since the Seville Conference, a major effort has been undertaken in many countries to review their biosphere reserves, in the light of the Seville Strategy and the Statutory Framework. An international expert meeting was organized to review the first five years of implementation of the Seville Strategy (1995-2000). This "Seville +5" meeting was held in Pamplona (Spain) in November 2000, and was based on the three levels of implementation of the Seville Strategy (international level, national level, site level). The recommendations of the Seville +5 meeting took up an array of the main challenges and the perceived difficulties in implementing the Seville Strategy and were addressed to several different groups. Recommendations for establishing transboundary biosphere reserves were made at that time.
Today, there are nine transboundary biosphere reserves worldwide, and numerous initiatives are taking place.
In 2008, the Third World Congress of biosphere reserves was held in Madrid, Spain which adopted the "Madrid Action Plan" that defines priorities and policies for the period 2008-2013.
The biosphere reserve concept has proved its value beyond protected areas and is increasingly embraced by scientists, planners, policy makers and local communities to bring a variety knowledge, scientific investigations and experiences to link biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development for human well-being. Thus the focus is on developing models for global, national and local sustainability, and for biosphere reserves to serve 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.
- Madrid Action Plan (.pdf)
Today, there are 563 biosphere reserves in 109 countries worldwide.