Biosphere Reserves are privileged natural areas for the implementation of sustainable development experiences. They protect biodiversity and ethnographic traditions, develop sustainable economic activities (low impact agriculture, rural tourism ...) and simultaneously promote research and education in their territory. In the context of climate change, migration, ageing within European countries, sustainable development becomes an alternative to solve these problems, and biosphere reserves are the ideal laboratories to initiate this change.
There are over 150 Biosphere reservesin Europe, located in most cases in rural areas, facing important challenges (economic, depopulation ...). The factors that ensure economic and social development of these areas depend largely on the cooperation and access to information: cooperation between management and local stakeholders, collaboration between citizens, including residents in developing actions ... In many cases Biosphere reserves are spread over several regions or even different countries, which hinders the development of such collaborative actions, marketing of local products, etc.
The ideal-ist project is part-funded by European Commission under the Cooperation Programme, ICT Theme, of the seventh Framework Programme. Any options expressed in these pages are those of the author/organisation and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.