Ordino, biosphere reserve
As of October 2020, following an application process that lasted almost a year, the parish of Ordino is now listed as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This is great news for Andorra, not just because it is the only one in the country, but also for the international recognition that its unique Pyrenees mountains, lakes and natural landscapes will receive. The residents of Ordino are now committed to living a more sustainable lifestyle. But what is a biosphere reserve and what can we do there?
What is a biosphere reserve?
A biosphere reserve is born out of a consensus among the residents of an area and their willingness to lead a more sustainable life. The goal is to find a balance between human life, the conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage. It is a way of preserving the flora and fauna of the surrounding area against the wear and tear our planet currently suffers as a result of our daily lives. It is therefore not uncommon to see more and more proposals in Ordino for living a more sustainable life with the planet, many of them suggested by its citizens.
What can we do in the Ordino biosphere reserve?
Despite what many people may think, there are many activities and mountain sports that can be done in the Ordino biosphere reserve These reserves are divided into 3 very specific zones based on the type of activity we can do in each one:
The core area is for protecting Ordino’s biodiversity. The Valle de Sorteny natural park is part of this zone, as it is a protected space for doing hiking routes and sustainable tourism. It's the perfect place to discover the unique flora and fauna of the Pyrenees, where you can do routes as a family and learn in the heart of nature in Andorra.
The buffer zone is where we find most of the forests, meadows and lakes of Ordino. The Tristaina lakes are a good example of this area. They are many families’ favourite lakes in summer and a must on your holidays in Andorra. It is also a natural environment where you can do low-impact mountain sport activities, including those regulated by law like hunting and fishing.
Finally, the transition area encompasses both the urban areas of Ordino and the Ordino Arcalís resort. These types of spaces are intended for economic and social development where there tend to be many people coming and going throughout the year.
Other projects of the Ordino biosphere reserve
Since 2020 efforts have been under way to transmit these values into residents’ daily lives. That’s the goal behind projects like the Casa de la Muntanya, a space where visitors can find all the information to learn about the unique features of Ordino’s natural environment, and to contact guides specialised in the types of mountain activities they are interested in doing. Other ongoing projects aimed at raising awareness and conveying the values of the biosphere reserve include environmental education for school groups and families and the transition to kilometre zero.