Keywords: Macronesia, biosphere reserves, sustainable development, sustainability, rural tourism, mid-Atlantic ridge, natural spaces protection, local populations, Agenda 21, islands, East Atlantic Network of Biospheres, REDBIOS, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal
The East Atlantic network of biosphere reserves: its origin, development and future
This paper provides a summary description of the origin, activities and future of the East Atlantic Network of Biospheres (REDBIOS), demonstrating that despite the network's dynamism, there have been and continue to be many obstacles that, a priori, make its viability difficult. Four languages are spoken within the network (French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic), two religions are practiced and its participants (currently Azores, Portugal, Cabo Verde; the Canary Islands Spain, Madeira, Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal) are located in three different geopolitical areas: Europe, Africa and countries. The direct or indirect benefit of the network has been: (1) the creation of the El Hierro Biosphere Reserve, (2) the creation of the Gran Canaria Biosphere Reserve, (3) the enlargement of the La Palma Biosphere Reserve to include the whole island, (4) the profound transformation experienced by the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve and (5) the creation of the Senegal River Transboundary Biosphere Reserve between Mauritania and Senegal. In conclusion, the Network's future does not appear to be compromised and it is currently development a common group project called 'Local Agenda 21 of Macarnoesia'.