The enlargement to the Modena Apennines of the MaB Unesco Reserve has begun

Sestola, Italy - On July 17th, the first workshop to start the processs of designating the Modena Apennines as a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve was held.

According to the promoters of the initiative, this was "the first step of a long journey". The seminar that took place at the Castle of Sestola focused on the launch of the enlargement of the Unesco MaB Reserve of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines to the mountain areas of Modena, in particular those included in the Parks and in the Nature Reserves (therefore, essentially in the High Modenese Apennine Regional Park (Ex Parco del Frignano). Both the area for which expansion is envisaged, and the area of expansion itself participate, with various pilot actions, in the development of the CEETO InterregCE Project.

MAB Appennino Workshop

MAB Appennino Workshop - Photo by Emilia Romagna Region

The proposal was illustrated by:
• Fausto Giovannelli - President and Coordinator of the MaB UNESCO Reserve of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine;
• Giuseppe Vignali - Director of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park;
• Filippo Lenzerini (Punto 3) - Technical consultant for the expansion of the MaB Reserve and FEDERPARCHI’s collaborator in the CEETO Project Development.
• Luca Lietti (Agenda 21 Consulting), FEDERPARCHI’s collaborator in the CEETO Project development, which reported on the theme: "Building concrete actions for sustainable tourism in protected areas".

Present at the meeting, in addition to representatives of the Ente Parchi Emilia Central, organizer of the event, mayors and administrators of the Apennine Municipalities and numerous "insiders", from the exponents of the school to those of the university, from environmental guides to environmentalist associations, from the world of environmental research to tourism development operators. All to listen to the reports of the Unesco Reserve and the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, which is its heart, led by the president, Fausto Giovanelli, who told the path that led, in June 2015, to the recognition by the 'United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, of this area as a "Men and the Biosphere" Reserve (MaB: 669 in the world and 15 in Italy), i.e. a territory in which the communities are in development harmonious with biodiversity.
"The MaB - said the president Giovanelli - is not only born to" conserve ", but above all to" do "in the field of sustainable development and education". For this reason, the first projects on which the Reserve has worked during these first three years of life have been presented, referring in particular to the field of typical products and to that of the school.

Map of the MAB Apennino

Map of the MAB Apennino - Photo by

The UNESCO MaB Reserve of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines is today a vast area (just over 2’230 Km2) straddling the Tuscan-Emilian ridge and includes 34 Municipalities in the provinces of Reggio Emilia, Parma and Massa Carrara, with currently only one municipality in the Modena Province. And it is precisely the enlargement to this latter area that was the subject of the seminary. 
As the president of the Ente Parchi Emilia Centrale, Giovanni Battista Pasini, said: "The MaB is not a new entity, but a "brand" that qualifies the territory and we are verifying the willingness of the territorial communities to become part of it. It will be a long and complex path, a sort of "cultural process" that can only be carried out with effective teamwork. We must work on the territory together with the Municipalities, today our main interlocutors".

A path, however, for which there is already a rather demanding "road map", which provides for the boundaries enlargement and the accession of the Municipalities by the end of the year and the transmission to the Ministry of the complete dossier by 31 May 2019. Several Municipalities of the Modena Apennines have already approved the accession.