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Tuesday 2 June 2009

Fuerteventura Named As Biosphere Reserve

As well as a tiger reserve in India and a former military training area in Germany Fuerteventura is one of 22 new sites from 17 countries added by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Biosphere reserves are areas designated to serve as places to test different approaches to integrated management of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine resources and biodiversity. As a result, they are sites for experimenting with and learning about sustainable development

Fuerteventura is the second largest island of the Canaries archipelago, close to the West African Coast. It includes a wide range of ecosystems from desert or semi-desert areas to coastal and marine habitats. While the island is characterized by a rich diversity of marine species, including dolphins and cachalot’s, as well as marine turtles that reproduce on its beaches, the biosphere reserve also represents one of the world’s major geopalentological observatories. Development of sustainable ecotourism practices is the major focus of the population living on the island. The island is also investing in the increase of its renewable energy capacity, mainly through wind-based and solar energy production and is representing itself as one of the models for the implementation of the European Union's Directive on Renewable Energy.

The other new sites are: Lagunas de Montebello (Mexico), Flores Island (Portugal), Geres-Xures (Portugal and Spain), Shinan Dadohae (ROK), Altaisky (Russia), Vhembe (South Africa), Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu (Indonesia), Great sandy (Australia), Lajat Biosphere Reserve (Syria), Desnianskyi (Ukraine), Delta del Orinoco (Venezuela), Cu Lao Cham – Hoi An (Viet Nam), Mui Ca Mau (Viet Nam), Mount Myohyang (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Biosphare Bliesgau (Germany), Similipal (India), Pachmarhi (India), Nokrek (India), and Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve (Lebanon).

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