UNESCO and Spain have renewed their commitment to the International Centre on Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves
The Council of Ministers of the Government of Spain, at its meeting on 22 June 2021, approved the renewal of the agreement between the UNESCO and Spain to continue to host the International Centre on Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (UNESCOMED centre), which is located in Castellet Castle in the south of the city of Barcelona, as a UNESCO Category 2 centre.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO and José Manuel Rodríguez, Permanent Delegate Ambassador of Spain to UNESCO, signed the agreement on 18 May 2022 at the Castellet castle.
This is the first public-private agreement in the case of a UNESCO Category 2 centre, in which the Abertis Foundation will support the ongoing activities that the Centre has been carrying out since 2013.
UNESCOMED aims to promote and boost international cooperation for research, training, and knowledge transfers between Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves, promoting sustainability and strengthening their technical capacities to ensure a balanced management of natural resources.
More than 70 territories integrate the network of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (MedMaB), which are spread across 17 countries of the Mediterranean basin. They include a set of diverse and representative sites hosting an exceptional socio-environmental heritage related to biodiversity, landscapes, and cultural expressions. The MedMaB is a great example of how international cooperation is enhancing the exchanges of good practises among countries in the region.
public-private agreement in the case of a UNESCO Category 2 centre
The quality of these environmental and cultural resources makes Mediterranean biosphere reserves ideal living laboratories for the promotion of innovative and circular practices and models, such as the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, the management of natural resources, and the promotion of sustainable tourism in all its forms.
A multimedia adventure through the World Network of Biosphere Reserves
Coinciding with the renewal of this agreement, the UNESCO Director-General and President of Abertis Foundation, Elena Salgado, inaugurated the "It’s About Life" exhibition sponsored by the Abertis Foundation, the Spanish Autonomous National Parks Organisation (OAPN) and Volkswagen.
The multimedia exhibition “It’s About Life” was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. It is a collective work of biosphere reserve managers, local communities, academia and artists, who, in their own voice, speak of resilience, sustainability and building a common future in harmony with nature.
More than 20 of UNESCO's 727 biosphere reserves in 131 countries are presented in a series of panels with QR codes to access enriched content and podcasts on a digital platform.
The exhibition will be on display at the Joan Miró Park in Barcelona until 18 June 2022. It will then travel to the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean in the summer, and in September it will be presented in Mexico, one of the countries with the largest number of biosphere reserves alongside Spain.