Helping to resolve today’s environmental challenges

Designing strategies that incorporate environmental criteria

Strategic Plan for the Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai, Basque Goverment

Client Department of Land Use, Housing and the Environment of the Basque Government
Objetive The principal objective of the Strategic Plan was to encourage the local population to identify themselves with, as well as become actively involved with, the Biosphere Reserve and not to see it as a distant emblem or a hindrance to their development. This meant developing a plan based on raising environmental awareness through education and promoting long term sustainable economic and social development based. This plan had to be based on an investigation of the actual situation and the capacity of the local community to adapt itself to the broad outlines laid down by the client.
Proposal We proposed a 3 phased plan based on: participation, analysis and plan of action.
Actions In collaboration with the governing body of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Patronato de la Reserva), we developed a SWOT analysis with the participation of all the relevant sectors in the community. From the results of the analysis, we established 4 work areas and each one included a series of objectives, and action plans. The 4 areas that were identified were: information disclosure, technical training, environmental education, and R&D.
Results The Plan successfully involved the local community and the client was able to develop a coherent Strategy that was sensitive to the demands of the population as well as those of the environmental constraints of the Biosphere Reserve.
Conclusion The involvement of the local community in developing the Plan was fundamental in its success. Without the co-operation and input of those living in the Biosphere Reserve, any Strategy or Plan proposed by the government would have been unworkable.