Esteve Corbera, member of the Scientific Council of MAB programme

Esteve Corbera

ICTA-UAB researcher was appointed member of the Scientific Council of the Spanish Committee of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme of the UNESCO on behalf of Catalonia.


The MAB Programme, started in the 1970s, is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments.

The MAB Programme promotes interdisciplinary research for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and contributes to the development of policies related to the rational use of biological and cultural diversity. It combines the natural and social sciences with a view to improving human livelihoods and safeguarding natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.

To implement its work, the programme focuses its actions on the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, fostering the exchange of knowledge, research and monitoring, education, training and participatory decision-making between reserves.

The Spanish Network of Biosphere Reserves currently includes 52 areas, some of them transboundary sites, and worldwide there are 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries.

The MAB Spanish Committee has two attached advisory councils: the Board of Biosphere Reserve Managers and the Scientific Council. Its composition includes various departments of the General State Administration, the autonomous communities that have Biosphere Reserves in their territory, the managers of the Biosphere Reserves, representatives of the scientific sector and other types of social agents.

Dr Corbera will be the representative of Catalonia for a period of 4 years. After being appointed, he commented the following:

“The appointment is an honor and a challenge. It is an honor because it will allow me to know in greater depth the operations, achievements and challenges of the 52 biosphere reserves that exist in Spain among which is the Montseny reserve, the only one in Catalonia. Professor Martí Boada, one of my mentors, Dr Roser Maneja, a great friend and collaborator, and their research group at the ICTA-UAB have dedicated so many research efforts to the Montseny reserve. In addition, working together with the rest of the members of the Scientific Council, it will be a challenge to generate new useful knowledge so that the biosphere reserves are consolidated as sites of ecological sustainability that contribute to the conservation of local and global biodiversity, of socio-economic development for local populations, and as instruments of environmental education for those of us who enjoy them."

Dr Corbera will be the representative of Catalonia for a period of 4 years. The Scientific Council consists of a representative from the universities, another from each of the autonomous communities with biosphere reserves, three representatives from the research centres and institutes attached to the ministry with competencies in science, and three members elected by the President of the Spanish Committee of the MAB Programme.

Dr Corbera is an environmental social scientist and political ecologist who studies human-nature relationships, and the impact of social, policy and environmental change on resource governance. Specifically, he has conducted research on how international policies for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation have affected the land-use systems, institutions and livelihoods of rural peoples in the global South.