08.08.2016 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Biosphere Reserves branding through high quality food products and gastronomy

Parco Appennino Tosco-Emiliano – Parmigiano Reggiano

The Appennino Tosco-Emiliano Biosphere Reserve is convening an international workshop to discuss and exchange views and opinions on the topic of biosphere reserves branding through high quality food products and their use in gastronomy. Organised at the request of the UNESCO MAB Programme, the event will be held at the Torrechiara Castle (Langhirano) from 30 August to 1 September 2016. It follows up on the MAB-BIRUP Workshop “Promoting Green Economies in Biosphere Reserves through Certification, Labelling and Branding Schemes” (Shanghai 2015) and the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves “A New Vision for the Decade 2016-2025. UNESCO Biosphere Reserves for Sustainable Development” (Lima 2016).

In June 2015, the International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme added 3 new sites in Italy to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, among which the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano. Located in the Tuscany and Emilia Romagna regions, in northern-central Italy, the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano Biosphere Reserve includes 38 municipalities. Spread over 223,229 hectares, the reserve contains 70% of all the species present in the country, including species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, fish, the wolf and the Golden Eagle, in addition to a great floristic biodiversity, with at least 260 aquatic and terrestrial plant species. The main economic activity is agriculture, of various kinds depending on the landscape.  A tourism economy has recently been developed to improve the link between tourism and agriculture with, for example, “zero-kilometer menu” restaurants using local products.

UNESCO is promoting the Langhirano workshop through its MAB programme, with the assistance of its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy) - allowing for the umpteenth presentation and display of the exhibition “Behind Food Sustainability”, in Italian and English. Developed by the UNESCO Regional Bureau as part of Venice to EXPO 2015 initiative and on display in multiple locations around Italy from May 2015 up to June 2016, the exhibition highlights experiences from UNESCO networks around the world, to help us address some of the main challenges to food sustainability. Through its different stops, the exhibition - whose first Italian copy was inaugurated in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano Biosphere Reserve - engaged with success visitors of UNESCO designated sites, in promoting sustainability and safeguarding natural heritage on a daily basis, and learning more about how they play out on a global scale.

The workshop in Langhirano will focus on high quality products - not only as tasty, delicious and well-known products, but also on products whose supply chain is ingrained and integrated with the landscape and the local communities. Such products contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and to sustainable development in ways that benefit the community, the environment, the landscape and the economy as well, as set forth by the UN Millennium Development Goals - specifically by Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss. Typical high quality food produced in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano Biosphere Reserve is: Prosciutto di Parma ham, Lambrusco wine and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

The main outcomes for the workshop will be to highlight the relation between the environment, the landscape, food production, and cultural expression through gastronomy; to evidentiate the benefits that biosphere reserves can reap from high quality products; to show the interplay between the role of biosphere reserves and the development of production resilience; and, to identify further actions contributing to the implementation of the Lima Action Plan - with particular reference to action C7.2  “Use the brand in products and services in line with national guidelines” and action C8.1 “Encourage joint promotion and marketing of Biosphere Reserves products and services among Biosphere Reserves and beyond”.

The workshop will further aim to foster dialogue and discussion among 40 to 50 participants related to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and experts, business people and local producers of gastronomy and high quality food products. Will participate Qun Li, Director, Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences Secretary, UNESCO MAB Programme and a representative of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy). Over the first two days, selected biosphere reserves will present their case story to foster discussion and debate.

Depending on available financial resources, some participants will be eligible for support in travel, accommodation and food expenses. The Appennino Tosco-Emiliano Biosphere Reserve will assign a higher priority based on the country of origin and the contributions made to the workshop by the participant(s).  For additional information, please contact: promozione(at)parcoappennino.it.


Link: Appennino Tosco-Emiliano

Website: http://www.parcoappennino.it/

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