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STUDIES, TRAINING, SOCIO-ECONOMICAL VALORIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL, CULTURAL AND MONUMENTAL PROPERTY FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE LOCAL SOCIETIES OF LATIN AMERICA (ARGENTINA, BRAZIL AND MEXICO)

Final Report Summary - STRAVAL (STUDIES, TRAINING, SOCIO-ECONOMICAL VALORIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL, CULTURAL AND MONUMENTAL PROPERTY FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE LOCAL SOCIETIES OF LATIN AMERICA (ARGENTINA, BRAZIL AND MEXICO))

When a natural or monumental site is declared as a protected area such as World Cultural Site (WCS), National Historic Monument (NHM), Biosphere Reserve (BR), Natural Space (NS) etc, a very strong impact undergoes in the region. In general, this declaration involves a large public and private investment which often affects only the site itself or immediate surroundings. Often the direct impact is reduced by marginalization of more distant areas, which in many cases, present unquestionable heritage values, susceptible of being valorised and recovered in order to further generate financial resources to promote economic, social and regional development. The site protected by law acts as a powerful magnet that may favour those more remote places in terms of promoting economic and social bookmarking, if that marginal area is valorised properly. There are many examples of the consequences of valorization works in monuments and/or natural areas in Europe. One of the most significant cases in Spain is the recognition of the Romanesque art churches located in Boi Valley (Catalonia) as World Heritage UNESCO 30/11/2000. These sites must comply with the requirement of acting as powerful magnets for tourist attraction, and geographically affect a wider circle which must be studied to enhance and create new local development opportunities. Three potential sites suffering from marginalization and a reduced impact as a consequence of their declaration or protection have been identified in regions of Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

MEXICO: Selected site: Cuitzeo Lake (Volcanic and Monumental area). The main proposed activities, close to Morelia, to address through this multidisciplinary work are, a) A section of Route 2010 (Cuitzeo lake area), which means the roads, history, landscape, biota (flora and fauna) geo-resources (minerals and rocks), volcanic geomorphology etc. (Route of Bicentenary 1810-2010) and b) Joining the Augustinian monasteries (XVI and XVII centuries) which were the origin of this route. In each small village around the lake almost one church was build during
the colonial period.

ARGENTINA Selected site: Surrondings Luján area (Religious pole of attraction). Surroundings of the city of Luján, the Basilica “Nuestra Señora de Luján” (National Monument) and Enrique Udaondo Museographic Complex being declared a historical heritage of the Argentine Republic. This religious pole attract every year around 5 million peregrines, mainly from Buenos Aires (at 70 km) and other cities of Argentina

BRAZIL: Selected site: A concrete area of the Ambient Protection for the Southern Right Whale: in the center-south coast of the State of Santa Catarina – Brazil. The protection area includes the coves of bigger concentration of southern right whales with younglings, and important terrestrial areas, dunes, bathed, lagoons and some archaeological sites (Guarani culture).

To overcome the reduced impact and promote future economic and social progress derived from such declarations, the STRAVAL main purpose was to make non-interventional studies on the conservation of these sites in LA in order to valorise the selected sites. Such studies were performed from an architecture, environment, geo & bio-diversity, history and conservation/alteration of building materials point of view. They were complemented by the identification of existing economic potentials around these sites and a social study of the neighboring populations. As a result of the performed studies, education and training programs, shorter training courses and open day sessions addressed to students in Higher Education Institutions, civilian population at large and to professionals in the tourism sector have been the outputs of the project. A Valorisation, Business and Action Plans become the other important output of STRAVAL. Additionally, the project let to transfer the best practices among all the sites chosen for the project on the basis of concrete examples of good practices identified in the EU or associated states. For example the city of Tarragona (Roman period) or the Valle de Boi (Pyrenees) both in Spain or the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. The Boi Valley was, finally, chose as example of Spanish good practice: National Park and UNESCO World Heritage together with Plitvice National Park (Croatia) and world heritage.

In this sense, the outputs of STRAVAL have been transferred to local/regional authorities and private actors associated with tourism awareness of the existing potential, based on educational actions that were implemented. The dissemination of the project results targeted local stakeholders about the importance of conservation, enhancement and promotion of natural or monumental heritage, as an engine of economic momentum on track to sustainable growth.