The Abertis Foundation’s UNESCO Centre hosts Mediterranea 2017, a forum on sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves.
13 September 2017 | Fundación Abertis |
- This is the first meeting focusing on Sustainable Tourism in Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves attended by prominent figures such as Salvador Alemany, Chairman of Abertis and the Abertis Foundation, and Teresa Lizaranzu, Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO.
- Renowned representatives of the culinary and cultural worlds participated in the discussions, including Josep Roca, owner of the restaurant Celler de Can Roca, and Miguel Torres, Chairman of Bodegas Torres
- The conference was held within the framework of the United Nations’ International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
On September 6th and 7th, the UNESCO International Centre for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves and headquarters of the Abertis Foundation will host MEDITERRANEA 2017, the first forum on Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves.
The overall purpose of this international meeting is to create the first forum addressing the future of sustainable tourism of the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Network, exploring their opportunities and challenges in the coming years. MEDITERRANEA 2017 was conceived to buttress the collaboration between Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves in the context of sustainable tourism.
The inauguration included a talk by Salvador Alemany, Chairman of Abertis and the Abertis Foundation, who emphasized that Castellet declaration.
In her intervention, Teresa Lizaranzu, Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO, explained Spain’s active involvement “as the Member State with the most registered reserves, and its constant conceptual and financial contribution to their development and dissemination”.
Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO, emphasized that “tourism is a relevant activity in the context of Biosphere Reserves, and this high-level meeting perfectly fits in with the actions contemplated by the United Nations during this International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development”.
The inauguration was followed by a conference on the “Current state of tourism and the challenges of sustainability in the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves network” and the seminar on “The Mediterranean-Biodiversity hotspot and cradle of civilisation” with talks from Josep Roca, owner of the restaurant Celler de Can Roca, and Miguel Torres, Chairman of Bodegas Torres.
The agenda ended with debates on the preservation of biodiversity and cultural values through sustainable tourisms; the efficient use of resources, environmental protection and the fight against climate change; and local communities, production and responsible consumption in tourism.
Falling within the framework of the United Nations’ International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, this event culminated in the Manifest of the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Network for Sustainable Tourism.
Within the same framework, the Second Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Network Managers’ Meeting was held on September 5 to promote communication strategies, develop the Documentation Centre and bolster links. During his address in the inauguration, Miguel Clüsener-Godt, head of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, stated that “the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Network is an excellent tool within this global organisation, since it helps support cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean”. He was accompanied by Martí Boada, Scientific Coordinator at the UNESCO International Centre for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves; and Georgina Flamme, General Coordinator of the Centre.
The Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Network
The 64 territories constituting the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Network include a group of diverse and representative sites hosting exceptional treasures in terms of richness of biodiversity, landscapes and cultural expressions. The quality of these environmental and cultural resources situate these Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves as places of excellence for promoting all facets of sustainable tourism within a single environment of two coasts united by their culture and natural characteristics.
The UNESCO International Centre
In 2013 the UNESCO International Centre declared the Abertis Foundation headquarters at Castellet Castle for the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves, with a subsequent inauguration in April 2014 as the first public-private initiative within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve network’s sphere of category 2 centres.
Category 2 encompasses centres and institutes under the auspices of UNESCO that represent a special category in the United Nations system: created and financed by Member States, their main purpose is to achieve the principal strategic goals of UNESCO’s MaB (Man and Biosphere) programme.
The UNESCO International Centre has since become a centre for disseminating ideas, projects and knowledge that cultivate interest in cultural heritage and the environmental, and is a standard bearer for the sustainable management of cultural heritage.
El Castillo de Castellet, sede de la Fundación Abertis, fue declarado en 2013 Centro Internacional UNESCO para las Reservas de la Biosfera Mediterráneas, y se inauguró en abril de 2014, como la primera experiencia de colaboración público-privada en el ámbito de los centros de Categoría 2 de la red de Reservas de la Biosfera, auspiciado por la organización perteneciente a las Naciones Unidas.
Los centros Categoría 2 son centros e institutos auspiciados por la UNESCO que representan una modalidad especial en el sistema de Naciones Unidas: los crean y financian los Estados miembros y su destino principal es la consecución de los objetivos estratégicos del programa MaB (Man and Biosphere) de la UNESCO.
Desde entonces, el Centro Internacional UNESCO se ha consolidado como un centro de difusión de ideas, proyectos y conocimiento, que sirve como estímulo al interés por el patrimonio cultural y natural, siendo paradigma de la gestión sostenible del patrimonio.