New initiative for heritage and the environmentParis – UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and the Italian Minister for the Environment and Land Protection, Altero Matteoli, will sign, in Paris on January 27, a Memorandum of Understanding, in which Italy and UNESCO undertake to work together on the protection of the environment as well as cultural and natural heritage.
The Memorandum of Understanding for Co-ordinated Action for the Protection of Environment and Nature/Culture Heritage provides for cooperation over three years aiming to define, test and promote “strategies and action that improve environmental conditions and increase the rational use of cultural and natural resources”, with “special attention to South-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region”.
Actions to be undertaken will be defined on an annual basis by both parties and will focus chiefly on capacity building in the following fields: sustainable use and management of surface and underground water resources; ecological rehabilitation of polluted sites; promotion of traditional knowledge to combat desertification; development of the use of renewable energy sources; and protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources for the development of sustainable tourism.
The signing will take place at 11.45 a.m. in Room IX, in the presence of Mr Matsuura, Mr Matteoli and the Egyptian Minister of Environment Mamdouh Riad Tadros. It will be followed by a visual presentation of a special Mapping System devised for the management of the environment, and a question and answer session.