In order to form part of the Geo-park Network, El Hierro must put in place a management body capable of achieving the objectives set for a Geo-park. To that end, the Island Council or Cabildo de El Hierro, with fully devolved responsibilities in the area of tourism, cultural heritage, environment, natural resources and territorial planning set up the El Hierro Geo-Park Board in 2013, with the support of the Town Councils on the island, the other Island Councils, and the Autonomous Government and Parliament of the Canary Islands. The Board likewise has three consultative bodies in the area of science, tourism and business, and citizens’ representation, all of which directly affect the main lines of work in the geo-park.
It was decided to adopt this figure for its analogy with the Board set up for the management of the El Hierro Biospehere Reserve. The Board’s Legal Status and Scope The El Hierro Geo-park Board or Consejo Sectorial del Geoparque de El Hierro was set up under the Law regulating the bases of Local Régimes ( la Ley Reguladora de Bases de Régimen Local) and according to the provisions of articles 130 and 131 of the Reglamentation of Organisation, Functions and Legal Régime of Local Entities (Reglamento de Organización, Funcionamiento y Régimen Jurídico de las Entidades Locales). The Objectives of the Consejo Sectorial (The Board of the Geo-Park) The main objective of this Board is to ensure the sustainable and balanced development of the island, with particular support being given to the geological values of the same, which are an inextricable element within the island of El Hierro’s identity. This support will be given via the implementation of a series of activities, which will redound in social and economic benefits to the residents. Among the specific objectives of said Board, we should highlight the following:
- The collaboration with the Reserve of the Biosphere of El Hierro in nature conservation and in the implementation of various shared objectives, taking advantage of the synergies that exist between both entities that are under the UNESCO umbrella.
- The valorisation of our geological heritage as a resource for social and economic development on the island.
- Promotion of Earth Sciences in the areas of research, education and dissemination at all levels of society (tourists and residents alike).
- Promotion of environmental education and sustainable territorial values.
- Valorisation and promotion of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of El Hierro to build up cohesion and coherence of identity between the residents and their island.
- Improving the supply and quality of sustainable tourism: nature tourism, geo-tourism and cultural tourism.
- Galvanising economic activities that are compatible with the aims of a geo-park, especially in the area of tourism together with agricultural, fishing and husbandry activities, by offering products with a high value added.
- Promotion of citizen participation in the decision-making processes of the activities to be organised within the Geo-Park.
- Active collaboration in shared projects with the Network of Geo-Parks, by exporting the best practice of El Hierro in the areas of social, economic and environmental sustainability The Board Functions The Functions of the Board of the Geo-Park are of assessment and consultancy, acting by way of a complementary body to the Island Council or Cabildo de El Hierro. The main functions of the Board are the following:
- To propose the designation of the representative/s of the Geo-Park in the meetings of the European Geo-Park Network and in the Forum of the Spanish Geo-Parks
- To coordinate and communicate the proposals forwarded by the three Consultant Boards of the Geo-Park, acting as a mechanism to produce communication and promote active participation between and among all the social and economic agents on the island
- To periodically produce a proposal for the annual Action Plan of the Geo-Park
- To supervise and collaborate in the implementation of the activities within the scope of the Geo-Park, including its networking activity with other geo-parks.
- The Composition of the Board Apart from the guest members invited on a temporary basis as seen fitting, the Consejo Sectorial or Board of the Geo-Park will be made up of the following permanent representative members:
- The Island Council or El Cabildo Insular de El Hierro (President and Vice-President of the Board).
- Representatives of the political groups on the island of El Hierro
- Representatives of the three Town Councils on the island of El Hierro
- The coordinators of the Consultant Boards of the Geo-Park of El Hierro
- The limited company, Gorona del Viento El Hierro, S. A.
- A professional Geo-park management company