The Madrid Action Plan and its final evaluation

The Madrid Action Plan 2008-2013 (MAP), endorsed at the 3rd World Congress of Biosphere Reserves in 2008, was developed in order to further elevate biosphere reserves as principal internationally designated areas and learning sites for sustainable development (see below).

A final evaluation of the MAP was concluded in 2014 with the purpose to assess the overall progress on the implementation of the MAP and to generate inputs for the formulation of the new strategy for MAB and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Madrid Action Plan

Global issues and problems that have emerged or intensified in the last decades have made it an imperative for the MAB Programme to adapt and change so as to effectively respond to the emerging challenges which significantly further exacerbate poverty and inequality:

  • accelerated climate change with consequences for societies and ecosystems;
  • accelerated loss of biological and cultural diversity with unexpected consequences that impact the ability of  ecosystems to continue to provide services critical for human wellbeing;
  • rapid urbanization as a driver of environmental change.

In order to address these challenges, thus strategically contribute to the achievement of the relevant Millennium Development Goals, the 20th Session of the MAB-ICC and the Third World Congress of Biosphere Reserves adopted the Madrid Action Plan, setting out the following agenda for the MAB Programme for the period 2008–2013:

  • develop mechanisms to encourage the sustainable development of biosphere reserves carried out in partnership with all sectors of society  to ensure the well-being of people and their environment;
  • test and apply policies for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change in coordination with other intergovernmental programmes;
  • use the experience of the WNBR, the MAB Networks and interdisciplinary approaches to develop and test policies and practices to address the issues impacting key ecosystem types, namely coastal zones, islands, oceans, mountains, drylands, tropical forests, freshwater ecosystems and areas of increasing urbanization;
  • develop scientific programmes of research to follow on from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) to define approaches that secure ecosystem services into the future.
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