Reserva Biosfera La Palma

La Palma Biosphere Worldwide Reserve

In 1983, UNESCO declared in La Palma, in the municipality of San Andrés and Sauces, 511 hectares of the estate “El Canal y Los Tiles” as a biosphere reserve, becoming the first Spanish island to count with this important international recognition.Even though this is the smallest Spanish biosphere reserve in extension, it hosted a very interesting laurel sample, a relict forest of the Tertiary Age, more than 1.6 million years ago.

In 1998, the declared territory was extended, including the Northeastern part of the Island, thus comprising more than 16% of the insular surface, and including the municipal districts of Barlovento, Puntallana, San Andrés y Sauces and, partially, Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Finally, on 6 November 2002, during a Plenary Session of the UNESCO International Coordination Council, La Palma Biosphere Worldwide Reserve was set up as we know it nowadays.This last extension supposed the inclusion of the whole insular surface, as well as the incorporation of one part of the sea environment with a surface of 9,870 hectares, making a total extension of 80,702 hectares.

This declaration of the whole insular territory as Biosphere Reserve, supposed a perspective change, as a conservation and development joint management could be achieved in the whole Island, without space limitation.In addition, it led to the integration of environmental high quality spaces such as the National Park of Caldera de Taburiente and the extension of sustainability principles of those urban or rural areas which have endured a higher pressure.

This set of acts, gave birth to the formation of a governmental and administrative agency of the Biosphere Reserve, “The Insular Administration of La Palma Biosphere Worldwide Reserve”, with a scope of Public Local Administration, which supposes the following:

  • A better implication of insular and municipal powers.
  • A better involvement of the private sector and societies.
  • The acceptance of new perspectives and liabilities.
  • The promotion of the achievement of sustainability and conservation goals.        







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