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Volume 82/83 (2015/2016)

Learning experiences about intangible heritage conservation for sustainability in biosphere reserves

June 15, 2017


This paper presents case studies on different approaches to sustainable development carried out in the UNESCO MAB (Man and Biosphere) World Biosphere Reserve Network in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2012, Latin America and the Caribbean had 116 biosphere reserves designated in 21 countries. In this region several biosphere reserves have implemented important management actions towards sustainable development by conserving ecosystem services and biodiversity (UNESCO 2006; 2008). These case studies highlight good practices on the use of traditional knowledge by scientific research and education for cultural and biological diversity conservation to the benefit of local and Indigenous communities. They focus on improving recognition of the unique ecological knowledge of these communities in Cabo de Hornos (Chile) and Bosawas (Nicaragua), and in the Caribbean: Sierra del Rosario and Cuchilla del Toa (Cuba). Moreover, they explore and reinforce the links between biological and cultural diversities in these outstanding sites, through local and Indigenous knowledge for the sustainable management of those sites.