The European Commission awarded an Erasmus+ project to the UNESCO International Center for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (UICMBR), headquarters of the Abertis Foundation, located in the castle of Castellet (Barcelona, Spain).
The main objective of this project is the strengthening and improvement of the academic activity between countries of the Mediterranean basin (Spain, France and Italy) and Moroccan and Lebanese institutions, in the context of the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves.
The initiative will align the activity of universities in the Mediterranean region, innovating in their research capacity, promoting internationalization, enriching the experience of academic staff, allowing mutual learning among stakeholders and improving the interdisciplinary nature of academic activity. Globally, the project is expected to involve more than 100 people.
The program awarded to the Abertis Foundation is endowed with nearly one million euros and will officially begin this November.
In the project they are taking part universities of Cadi Ayyad (Marrakech, Morocco) and Mohammed V (Rabat), and Saint Joseph University and the American University, both in Beirut, Lebanon. In addition, it has the support of Aix-Marseille Université, in France; the Union for the Mediterranean University, based in Rome, Italy; and two NGOs, MAB France and the Jabal Moussa's Association for the Protection of the Biosphere Reserves.
Erasmus+ is the EU's program of support for education, training, youth and sport in Europe, which offers opportunities for study, acquisition of experience and volunteering to more than 4 million Europeans.
The Mediterranean Network’s work recognition
Recently, Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature recognised the Abertis Foundation for its work to promote the Mediterranean Network of Biosphere Reserves through the UNESCO International Center, a pioneering experience of public-private partnership with the Government of Spain through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment and under the auspices of the United Nations.
The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature is a Jordanian entity dedicated to the protection, conservation and management of Jordan's natural resources and is chaired by the country's prince of water, Prince El Hassan Bin Talal.
The UNESCO International Center for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves has incorporated in last months two new reserves in Jordan: the cities of Dana and Mujib. It reinforces the commitment to cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean.
The Network of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves
More than 70 territories constitute the Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve Network, including 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 hubs of excellence for the promotion of sustainable tourism, in a unique environment of two shores joined by their culture and nature.
Castellet Castle, the headquarters of the Abertis Foundation, was declared in 2013 UNESCO International Center for Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves. This is the first experience of public-private partnership in the Category 2 centers of the Biosphere Reserve network, recognized by UNESCO.
The Category 2 centers represent a special modality in the United Nations system: they are created and financed by Member States and are focused is the achievement of the strategic objectives of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) program.
Since then, the UNESCO International Center has established itself as a center for the dissemination of ideas, projects and knowledge, which serves as a stimulus to interest in cultural and natural heritage, being a paradigm of sustainable heritage management.