In the context of the “Next Generation You” call by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Santagata was commissioned by the Mont-Viso Natural Park to prepare a new version of the Management Plan for UNESCO’s Mont-Viso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, as well as implementing a related preparatory involvement and engagement programme for local youth and businesses, as part of the Man and Biosphere Programme and the Biosphere Reserve.
In 2013, the vast area surrounding Mont-Viso, on the initiative of the Mont-Viso and Querays Natural Parks, obtained the inscription to the Biosphere Reserves network, in the context of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MaB) programme, and in 2014 it was recognized as a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (the first and only one between Italy and France).
Since then, the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve has developed activities and projects on sustainable community and territorial development, such as the Piter Terres Monviso Eco and the MaB UNESCO Monviso Youth Camp, jointly organized with Fondazione Santagata within its YES! programme.
The Biosphere Reserves have three main goals:
- Conservation through biodiversity protection and the implementation of ecological networks.
- Sustainable Development, starting from practices such as sustainable tourism based on the promotion of cultural heritage and the support to the green economy.
- Logistical support through environmental education and youth involvement in the Reserve. At the same time, research activities are being developed in collaboration with academic institutions.
Fondazione Santagata adopts an analytical perspective based on an integrated approach to the management of cultural and natural resources, which calls for a continuous inclusion of actions for the safeguard of natural heritage within territorial development policies. This approach is based on the UNESCO guidelines for the Man and Biosphere Programme and is complemented by years of applied research in the field of UNESCO designations, with a special focus on strategic management and planning.
The work is organized in the following two related goals:
- The drafting of a new version of the Management Plan for UNESCO’s Mont-Viso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve.
- The implementation of an involvement and engagement programme for local youth and businesses, as part of the Man and Biosphere Programme and the Biosphere Reserve.
The drafting of the new Management Plan for UNESCO’s Mont-Viso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve is divided into 6 steps:
- Territorial context analysis.
- Collection and analysis of the projects carried out over the years within the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, starting from the provisions of the document: Management Plan of the Monviso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (DIST, 2015).
- Analysis of UNESCO’s most recent documentation and guidelines on the management of the Biosphere Reserves.
- Participatory-based identification of the strategic management scenarios of the Reserve, identification of specific objectives and actions consistent with the guidelines of the MaB Programme.
- Elaboration of indications for the governance of the Plan and the monitoring of its implementation.
- Drafting of the final document.
The implementation of the involvement and engagement programme for local youth and businesses is structured into 4 steps:
- Data collection and analysis from the projects carried out over the years within the same context, curated by UNESCO’s Mont-Viso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve.
- Mapping and analysis of entrepreneurial and youth realities active in the area on issues related to the MaB Programme and the Biosphere Reserve.
- Listening and engagement of businesses and young people in the area of the Reserve.
- Preparation of an activity report.
- Strengthening of UNESCO’s Mont-Viso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve’s integrated management, of its impact on sustainable development and of its recognition at the local, national and international level.
- Youth and local businesses involvement in order to allow for the collection of ideas from fundamental targets of the Reserve, to strengthen the recognition of the reserve, the relationships and the sense of belonging between stakeholders and territory and skill-building with respect to designation.
Scientific coordination: Alessio Re
Researchers: Andrea Porta (technical coordination), Lorenza Bizzari, Francesco Cambi