Biosphere Reserves of Spain and Sao Tome and Principe sign a twinning agreement to share experiences in nature conservation and sustainable development

The biosphere reserves of Mariñas Coruñesas and Terras do Mandeo (Spain) and the Island of Príncipe (Sao Tome and Principe) signed a twinning agreement on Monday, 2 April 2018, in Pazo de Mariñán, Spain, to share experiences about nature conservation and sustainable development.

The event included the participation of the President of the Autonomous Government of the Island of Principe, José Cardoso Cassandra; the President of the Council of A Coruña, Valentín González; the representative of the Spanish biosphere reserve, José Antonio Santiso; and the representative of the Island of Príncipe biosphere reserve, Antonio Abreu, among others.

The Island of Principe is located in the Gulf of Guinea and has just over 7,000 inhabitants. It was declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2012. Mariñas Coruñesa is situated in Galicia and has a population of about 190,000 people. It was nominated as a biosphere reserve one year later.

The President of A Coruña stressed that both biosphere reserves were designated recently and, although of different size, can collaborate on specific areas such as water and waste management, as well as the training of technicians. Mr González also noted that this agreement constituted ‘a first step to working together and that the Island of Principe has interesting projects designed to involve the population.’

This twinning agreement is a clear example of the opportunities offered by the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. This dynamic and interactive network of 669 sites of excellence located in 120 countries around the world, promotes North-South and South-South collaboration, and is a unique tool for international cooperation through the exchange of experiences and technical knowledge, capacity building and promotion of best practices.