28 - 29 JUN 2021

FREE ENTRANCE, with mandatory registration

Presential and Online link

The access link will be sent by email on the day before the conference

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The Conference “Biosphere Reserves: sustainable territories, resilient communities - Lusophone Dialogues”, to be held on 28-29 June at the Serralves Foundation (Porto, Portugal), is an official event that marks the 50th Anniversary of the UNESCO MAB global programme. It aims to present the Biosphere Reserves in Portuguese-speaking countries[1], their heritage relevance and the valuable contribution they make to development of the respective territories. The conference will enable participants to learn more about the natural and cultural heritage of the Biosphere Reserves, and the experiences that make them unique. The key objective that inspired UNESCO to create the MaB – Man and the Biosphere – Programme, exactly 50 years ago, was to foster conservation of natural values in harmony with human activities, with a view to ensuring the prosperity and well-being of the resident communities. The conference will mark a moment of celebration of the 50th anniversary of the MaB Programme, congratulating UNESCO's historic and visionary decision to affirm a pioneering development strategy to safeguard the planet’s sustainability. The MaB Programme underpins the constitution of 714 Biosphere Reserves that have been classified worldwide, in territories that are rightly considered to be living laboratories of sustainability. Safeguarding these zones is part of a universal desire/motivation to conserve natural ecosystems and the services they provide to humanity, integrating communities and economic activity, in a dialogue-based and inclusive coexistence with a view to fostering the well-being and sustainable prosperity of the territories where they are located.


The presence of all Biosphere Reserves from Portuguese-Speaking countries at the Conference will enable a more in-depth dialogue between the biosphere reserve management teams, promoting discussion on the respective intervention plans, sharing experiences and the difficulties faced in terms of functioning and governance, with a view to creating partnerships that will help overcome problems and reinforce common goals for the fulfilment of the sustainability agenda. To this effect, the Network of Biosphere Reserves in Portuguese-Speaking Countries will be public and its common programme will be disseminated.



Castro Verde, Corvo, Gerês-Xurês International Transboundary, Graciosa, Fajãs de São Jorge, Flores, Meseta Ibérica International Transboundary, Paúl do Boquilobo, Santana Madeira, Tejo/Tajo International Transboundary, Berlengas Peniche and Porto Santo


Workshop 29 June

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Helena Freitas
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Ana Pinho
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Anabela Trindade
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António Domingos Abreu
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Clayton Ferreira Lino
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Francisco André
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José Cardoso dos Ramos Cassandra
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Maria Fernanda Rollo
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Miguel Clüsener-Godt
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Helena Freitas received her PhD in Ecology from the University of Coimbra, in collaboration with the University of Bielefeld, Germany, in 1993, and did postdoctoral studies at Stanford University, USA, between 1994 and 1996. She is Full Professor of Biodiversity and Ecology at the Department of Life Sciences of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra since 2003, and holds the UNESCO Chair in Biodiversity and Conservation for Sustainable Development since 2014. Helena Freitas joined the General Council of the University of Coimbra (2009-2011), was the Director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra from 2004 to 2012, the President of the League for the Protection of Nature (1999 (2002-2005), the founder and President of the Portuguese Society of Ecology (2004-2013) and the Vice- President of the European Society of Ecology (2009-2012). She is currently Coordinator of the Center for Functional Ecology - science for people and the planet, Scientific Coordinator of FitoLab - Phytosanitary Laboratory of the Pedro Nunes Institute, and is a member of the Scientific Council of the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Coimbra. Her research interests include Ecology; Mediterranean Ecosystems; Forest and Agriculture; Ecology and Management of exotic and invasive species; Conservation of Nature, Biodiversity; Physiology of the tree; Diversity of Plants and Fungi; Tolerance to Stress and Bioremediation; Environmental policy; Bioenergy; Conservation of Nature; Microbial ecology; Ecology and Society. She is the author of more than 300 international scientific publications and several publications promoting and disseminating science. In March 2000 he was awarded the Commendation of the Order of Prince Henry the Infant by the President of the Portuguese Republic Jorge Sampaio.

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