WHY THE WHOLE ISLAND?
In the mid 1990s, it started to become clear that the Reserve was not big enough to meet the UNESCO objectives. In a place as small as our island, it soon became clear that the conservation of the core was dependent on its capacity to adapt to the development of the areas around it.
In the words of the managing board: “the designated area became a corset that made it impossible to implement the three main functions that the MaB programme established for Biosphere Reserves (conservation, logistics and development). Two of these aspects could only be partially tackled with the reduced area of the original Reserve”.
The first extension included 13,240 hectares, an area 27 times larger than the original estate. Moreover, the original name of the Reserve, El Canal y Los Tilos Biosphere Reserve, was changed to Los Tilos Biosphere Reserve. Hence the area of an entire district was reached for the first time, including all the ecosystems from the sea up to the mountain peaks. The decision also explicitly included the role of the local inhabitants of the area in the conservation of their environment, also for the first time.