Reservas da Biosfera de Portugal

Promote the relevance and visibility of Portugal’s Biosphere Reserves


UNESCO Biosphere Reserves stem from the express wishes of their populations

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves aim to conserve nature and historical and cultural heritage, promote economic development, support education and scientific research and are the result of the express wishes of their populations.

The conceptual model of Biosphere Reserves will become increasingly important within the global framework of initiatives for the conservation, management and sustainable use of the natural heritage, particularly because of what it reveals about the possible and desirable symbiosis between the best practices for the conservation of natural values, economic prosperity and the well-being of communities, objectives that underlie the classification and recognition of Biosphere Reserves around the world.

"We have to be able to build other paradigms of progress, safeguarding a respectful relationship between human activities and life in general."

Helena Freitas, Professor of Coimbra University

Fostering collaborative dynamics between national Biosphere Reserves and international networks

The distinction in quality that these territories are noted for makes them a fundamental socio-economic and environmental asset when designing a sustainable future, including the incorporation of nature-based solutions for mitigating and adapting to risks (e.g. climate change).

This project aims to promote the relevance and visibility that the status of Biosphere Reserves justifies among local, regional or national organisations, and society itself, as privileged instruments for enhancing and developing territories. It also involves fostering collaborative networking dynamics between national Biosphere Reserves and international networks, particularly IberoMAB, EuroMAB and AfriMAB.

in the world
cross-border reserves

CPLP Biosphere Reserves Network

The Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) Biosphere Reserves Network aims to conserve biodiversity and promote the economic and social development of Portuguese-speaking territories. It constitutes a privileged and permanent space for dialogue, cooperation and affirmation of Portuguese-speaking countries in a key sector such as development based on the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.


Portugal Reserves Network

Portugal has 12 Biosphere Reserves, covering three biogeographical regions (Mediterranean, Atlantic and Macaronesia), representing different types of ecosystems, from the islands in the Macaronesia Regions and the Atlantic Sea, to the Tagus wetlands, riverine environments, mountainous areas and valleys in the north and the Alentejo cereal belt on the mainland.

Biosphere Reserves of Portugal

Characterising the territories
and assessing their impact on the sustainability of the planet

The data panel gives us a unique look at the territories of the Biosphere Reserves and is a visualisation where sustainability, history, heritage, knowledge and discovery meet, providing an enriching interpretation of Portugal’s Biosphere Reserves.

Well-being and quality of life

Biosphere Reserves play a vital role in promoting the well-being and enhancing the quality of life for both local communities and the broader population. The relationship between Biosphere Reserves and well-being is multifaceted and extends to various aspects of human life and the environment.

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Sustainability of Reserves

The relationship between Biosphere Reserves and sustainability is a fundamental and intrinsic one. Biosphere Reserves are model sites where sustainable development practices are promoted and tested to achieve a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.

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Sustainable Development Goals

The relationship between biosphere reserves and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is highly significant, as both are deeply intertwined in their pursuit of a sustainable future for our planet. The SDGs, established by the United Nations, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030.

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Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are the benefits that humans derive from ecosystems, including provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services. Biosphere reserves act as crucial platforms where these services are highlighted, understood, and effectively managed for sustainable development.

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Biosphere reserves, while designed to promote sustainability and conservation, are not immune to various risks that can impact their ecosystems, communities, and overall mission. These risks encompass environmental, technological, and other potential threats that necessitate careful management and planning.

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Territory and Communities

See detailed information about the areas of the Reserves, their physical geography, the administrative boundaries in which they are located and the available infrastructure.


See the evolution of the resident population in each Reserve over the last 40 years, the levels of education and illiteracy, the evolution of employment and data on consumption and waste per inhabitant.

Cultural Heritage

Discover the richness of each Reserve's cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. Churches, castles, museums, festivals and other cultural practices, among many other data including cultural consumption.

Natural heritage

Discover the diversity of each Reserve's natural heritage. Habitats, species, flora, fauna, in each territory and in all the Portuguese Reserves.

Routes and points of interest

Explore, point by point, the heritage sites and services available in each Reserve. Find out what to visit. Discover the places, the gastronomy, the routes, the places to stay and the support infrastructures for visiting the Reserves.

Classified areas

Identify all the classified areas in each Reserve and in all the Portuguese Reserves. Nature parks, nature reserves, geoparks and other geological sites, all types of classification.

Economic and social activity

Find out about the economic activity of each Reserve, the behaviour of economic agents by sector, the various indicators relating to tourism and social dynamics, in particular indicators of employability, purchasing power and income of families living in the Reserves.

Science, Technology and Innovation

Find out which research and higher education institutions exist in each Reserve, the investment in research and development in these territories, the number of students and researchers.
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