May 31, 2021

Re-connecting Tourism with the biosphere: a Mediterranean perspective_Report of the event


The workshop “Re-connecting Tourism with the biosphere: a Mediterranean perspective” took place on May 19th, 2021. Promoted by the Interreg Med Sustainable Tourism project and organised by UNIMED, it brought together 4 speakers and more than 40 participants coming from the Northern and Southern Shores of the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean region, one of the top tourist destinations in the world, is facing common challenges. An enhanced dialogue on best practices, designed and tested on both shores can be beneficial for promoting a comprehensive approach and developing common solutions.

As this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the UNESCO’s Man & Biosphere Programme which stresses the importance of the sustainable connection between people and nature, particular attention was dedicated in this workshop to the development and management of sustainable tourism practices, initiatives, and challenges in protected areas and in Biosphere reserves.

Emilia Stoduto from UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union opened the webinar presenting the Sustainable Tourism Community, the results achieved so far and the activities foreseen until 2022 that are focused on the capitalisations and the transferring of the results and outputs of the 24 projects of the community. Prof. Mohammed Alazaizeh, from the University of Jordan and Coordinator of the UNIMED SubNetwork on Mediterranean Tourism introduced the topic of the workshop, presented the speakers and moderated the event.

The initial part was dedicated to the presentation of two projects of the Sustainable Tourism Community: EMbleMatiC, presented by Kostas Zapounidis (Pieriki Anaptixiaki) and DestiMED Plus, presented by Arnau Teixidor (IUCN).

The workshop continued with first-hand experience coming from two Biosphere Reserves (BRs) managers in Lebanon and Morocco. Pierre Doumet presented the BR Jabal Moussa (Lebanon) and Afker AbdelAziz presented the BR Arganeraie (Morocco).

Here it is available a report of the workshop and here below you can find the presentations shown during the workshop.

– Opening and introduction about the Sustainable Tourism Community Emilia Stoduto, UNIMED 

The experience of EMbleMatiC and the tools to participate in the Emblematic Mediterranean Mountains (EMM) network Kostas Zapounidis, PIERIKI ANAPTIXIAKI S.A. // EMbleMatiC project _ InterregMed program

– The MEET Network & DestiMED Plus experience in the Mediterranean Region _ Arnau Teixidor, IUCN // DestiMED Plus project _ InterregMed program

– Blessing or curse? Conservation in the East-Med Hot Spot _ Pierre Doumet, Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve // CROSSDEV project _ENI CBC MED program

– A Biosphere reserve in the local socio-economic development in Morocco Afker Abdel Aziz, Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve // EduBioMed project_Erasmus+ program