The UNESCO guidelines for the implementation of the Biosphere Reserves, reflected in its Madrid Action Plan (February 2008), are clear and can be summarized in three points:
The implementation of a Biosphere Reserve in a territory:
- Must be carried out after a participative process
- Must be managed through committees made up of the affected social groups.
- Must imply an Action Plan designed and approved.
The Cabildo of Gran Canaria, through its Service for the Environment, is the authority in charge of the conservation and management of the island's natural resources and protected natural areas and forests, alongside with the waste management.
The responsibility attached to such competence led to suggest to UNESCO that it should be Cabildo of Gran Canaria the promoter and coordinator of the Biosphere Reserve of Gran Canaria as long as the management was carried out jointly with the rest of the public offices involved (municipalities, Government of the Canary Islands, social groups, etc). Such work would be developed in accordance with the respective administrative competences and existing legal framework, aligned with the aforementioned guidelines through:
• 2013-2020 Action Plan approved by the Representative Bodies.
• Representative Bodies, organized in three Councils:
- Governing Council: Managing body through its Executive Committee.
- Citizens'participation Council: Body in charge of facilitating the integration and participation of all the public offices and prívate sectors within the Gran Canaria territory of the Biosphere Reserve.
- Scientific Council: Appointed with the task of the permanent monitoring and assessing of the actions and initiatives planned and the backing of these actions by means of scientific criteria on conservation and sustainable development.
Besides the three formal bodies described above, there are other specific Committees and Task Forces made out by individuals and social groups for the carrying out of each project, turning into reality the awaited participation of the whole civil society.