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Inauguration of transboundary biosphere reserve honours twenty years of cooperation between France and Italy

The inauguration ceremony for the Mont Viso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve took place in Col Agnel, France, on 6 July 2014. Mr Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, presented the certificate of designation to the local authorities of the two countries, Italy and France, in the presence of Ms Ségolène Royal, French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and Ms Barbara Degani, Italian State Secretary of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea.

The ceremony took place in the presence of the presidents and elected officials of the Queyras and Po Cuneo parks of the Piedmont and Provence Alps Côte d’Azur regions and departments.

This designation honours over twenty years of cooperation between the two parks and more than ten years of efforts and cooperation to make this transboundary biosphere reserve a reality. The reserve is based on strong historical and cultural relations between the mountain communities of both countries.

In her speech, Ms Royal said that, ‘the innovative nature of the MAB Programme encourages interdisciplinary research, experimentation and education-training activities for sustainable management of natural resources, while seeking the involvement of local populations’.

The Mont Viso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve is one of fourteen transboundary biosphere reserves included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.