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Pride as Anaga Massif, a jewel of Tenerife, wins UNESCO special status 

One of the most beautiful jewels in Tenerife’s crown has been afforded special status to help preserve it for future generations and to let people know how very special it is.

UNESCO has awarded the Anaga Massif the title of “Biosphere Reserve” and all who fought for this achievement are delighted.

The honour was bestowed by the International Co-ordinating Council of UNES-CO’s MaB programme during a ceremony in Paris.

The proposal was championed by president of Tenerife Cabildo, Carlos Alonso who highlighted the values of this unique area in the north-east of the island which covers 49,000 hectares, of which 33,000 hectares relates to the marine environment.

Also attending were the president of the Scientific Council of the MaB programme, Marisa Tejedor and La Laguna councillor,  Miguel Ángel González.

Sr. Alonso said the designation was a commitment to keeping history alive whilst also looking to the future because new generations could not turn their back on the land.

“With the declaration of Biosphere Reserve, we will ensure that future begins today, with opportunities in rural areas and viable alternatives and prospects for improving the quality of life of the inhabitants of this continent in miniature. This title will give us new blood, new ideas according to the commitment implied by this statement, ” he pledged.

He continued: “Anaga Massif is a place of unpara-lleled beauty. An island within the island which is Tenerife, able to awaken our imagina-tion and move us to the past, ancient times where the man and the earth were nearly one being.”

It was, he said, a jewel where its residents knew they had to care for it and maintain as an example of sustainable development.

“It is one of the most special places of Tenerife that combines natural beauty, land and sea, with agricultural and livestock,” he said during his speech.

The territory of the Bios-phere Reserve is located in the north eastern tip of Tenerife, located in the municipalities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, La Laguna and Tegueste, along with the coastal strip up to 1,000 meters deep around them.

The declaration of Biosphere Reserve advocates, among other things, the development of traditional human activities in a context of environmental balance, which should endeavour to maintain crops with local varieties and promoting indigenous breeds and their handling in accordance with  cultural practices, as well as being respectful of  industrial activities in the environment.

All parties were consulted over the designation, including local people who will play a large part from now on.

Until this ceremony,  there were 631 biosphere reserves spread over 119 countries, 45 of which are in Spain, including six which are located in the Canary Islands, to which must be added the title obtained by the Anaga Mountains.