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15 Jan 2019

Meeting of the Abertis Foundation with the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and the Minister for Ecological Transition of Spain, Teresa Ribera, in Madrid

Meeting of the Abertis Foundation with the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and the Minister for Ecological Transition of Spain, Teresa Ribera, in Madrid

  • The UNESCO International Center for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves, located at the headquarters of the Abertis Foundation, has been presented as a success case of public private collaboration.

The General Director of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and the Minister for Ecological Transition of Spain, Teresa Ribera, met today with a representation of Abertis and its Foundation at the Group's headquarters in Madrid. The objective of the meeting was to present the UNESCO International Center for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves, located at the headquarters of the Abertis Foundation, as a success case of public-private partnership, and to present the impact and value of this collaboration in terms of the benefit on society and the environment.

The visit was also attended by Juan P. de Laiglesia, Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean; Juan Andrés Perelló, Ambassador of Spain to UNESCO; Miquel Roca, Secretary of the Board of Directors of Abertis; and Sergi Loughney, Director of the Abertis Foundation, among other attendants.

Audrey Azoulay highlighted: “The UNESCO International Center for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves is an exemplary example of collaboration between UNESCO and the private sector. The Ministry of Ecological Transition of Spain expressed: “This is an example of the fulfillment of a socially responsible company with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promoted by the United Nations."

The director of the Abertis Foundation, Sergi Loughney, remarked: "This high-value collaboration has a very positive impact. I would like to encourage companies and institutions to bet on public-private partnerships to boost new projects such as this one, as a method to support social progress and protection of the environment".

UNESCO International Center for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves

The institutional headquarters of the Abertis Foundation, located in Castellet Castle (Barcelona, Spain), was declared in 2013 by the UNESCO International Center for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (CIURBN). This is the first experience of public-private collaboration in the field of Category 2 centers of the Biosphere Reserve network, recognized by the organization belonging to the United Nations.

The Category 2 centers are hubs and institutes under the auspices of UNESCO that represent a special modality in the United Nations system: they are created and financed by the Member States and their main destination is the achievement of the strategic objectives of the MaB (Man and Biosphere) program of UNESCO.

In 2018, the CIURBN has incorporated two new reserves, the cities of Dana and Mujib in Jordan, thus reinforcing its commitment to cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

The more than 70 territories that form the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Network (RRBMed) include a set of diverse and representative sites that house an exceptional heritage related to biodiversity, landscapes and cultural expressions. The quality of these environmental and cultural resources places Mediterranean biosphere reserves as places of excellence for the promotion of sustainable tourism in all its forms, in a unique environment of two coasts joined by their culture and nature.

Since its creation, the UNESCO International Center has established itself as a hub for the dissemination of ideas, projects and knowledge, which serves as a stimulus to the interest in cultural and natural heritage, being a paradigm of sustainable heritage management.

Global alliance also with UNICEF

Abertis also has a collaborative alliance with another organization belonging to the United Nations: UNICEF. It is a collaboration agreement of 3 million dollars to fight the main cause of mortality in children of school age: road accidents. The commitment is one million dollars per year for three years, and is the largest agreement on road safety focused on children.

This alliance aims to strengthen and expand UNICEF's work to protect children on the world's roads and offer a safe route to school. UNICEF considers Abertis a valuable ally, given its commitment to road safety and its program of campaigns adapted to the needs of the most vulnerable road users.

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