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Pyrénées - Mont Perdu by Fanny Dunand

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    This World Heritage site is considered like natural and cultural.

    It is a wonderful mountain landscape situated in “Pyrénées” in the border between France and Spain (see appendix 1). The location permits to have different climates. It is so special and beautiful because there are two big canyons and three cirque walls (UNESCO, 2013). If you do not know how it looks like, you can have a look in some really nice pictures, it makes dream (See appendix 2).The diversity of this mountain range is unique. You can find, “glacier” on the top, lakes, forest, caves. The fauna and flora are exceptional. You can find special flower thanks to the different climates and the altitude. Indeed, the Mont Perdu’s peak is 3352 meters. Some animals are wild, such as marmots, chamois, fox, wild boar, deer..., and there are also reptiles and birds (Pyrenees Moutains, 2013).

    In addition of this, it is a cultural place thanks to its conservation. The landscapes of today have been created by humans and you can realize this by sites and memory (history and myths). There are villages, farms, fields, upland pastures that did not change and show the agricultural way of life of people who lived there (UNESCO, 2013) (Mont-Perdu Patrimoine Mondial, 2013).

    Some sites are intact like dolmen and caves. It is really interesting and beautiful to see that because when you are there, you try to imagine their life and conditions in the past.

    The common activities are hiking, climbing, skiing, and fishing. Do activities in a wonderful frame like Pyrenees is a unique experience: sensation guaranteed!


    Managerial challenges: Since that there are two national parks in the area, it makes the management a little bit complex for them (UNESCO, 2007).

    Since the beginning it is difficult for France and Spain to manage the site together.

    In 2010, the site was in danger because of this. UNESCO asked to them to change this management because the site is registered like a transfrontier site. They had to create a collaboration plan and vision.

    In collaboration, France and Spain created the “Mont-Perdu Management Charter” supposed to be active from 2010 until 2020, which describes the committees and regulations (Mitchell, N, Rossler, M and Tricaud, 2010). Since this charte the management is better and they organise meetings. The problem was not a question of money. it was really the management, they were not organized. In the past, they did not even plan meeting between the both countries, create a commun vision... For them it was not a real transfrontier site, it was like if each of them had to manage their part without manage it like a whole.

    Nowadays, there is the problem lack of understanding from the local people. They do not accept some decisions like the limitation of motors vehicles or the restrictions of hunting in some areas.

    The Gavarnie festival is a polemic since few years. During the registration, France promised that they will change the place of the Gavarnie festival which runs each year in an area that belongs to the World heritage site. Unesco want the change of the location since 1997 because of the vision, the ecological, and the cultural point of view. According to them, it is not ecological because they have to build staff for the spectales, because a lot of people will come by car and park their car in the site... France is not changing the location because it is a "traditionnal" event that takes place there since few years and they think that it does not cause any problem for the environement and for the UNESCO site. So of course, it would be just a small change, but France is conservative and if they think that it is not a problem, they will not change it. In 2012, they asked to France to change again, for the 8th time but in 2013 the event run in the same place so UNESCO and France have to take a decision together; they are still negociating (EELV, 2012).

    The environment is a critical point especially nowadays with the global warming.




    Appendix 1: Location of Mont-Perdu, Pyrénées

    (Pyrénées Map, n.d)


    Appendix 2: Some pictures

    (Ordesa Canyion, n.d)

    (Troumousse Cirque, n.d)

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    Comments (4)

    Viewing 4 of 4 comments: view all
    Do you think the problem of involving the local population to become more aware of their own heritage could be solved in the nearest future? The differences in management perspectives between France and Spain do you think they will be ever solved? Could you name one major factor contributing to the presence of such problems? Is it money, culture, language or? What is it?
    Thank you so much Fanny,
    Posted 15:49, 12 Nov 2013
    What I liked the most about your article is the fact that you really try to promote the destination and I can feel that your are really enthousiastic about it. It makes it pleasant to read your text.
    About the managerial challenges, maybe you should give some more detail about the issues between France and Spain: what exactly makes it difficult for them to work together ? I also think you should say more about the Gavarnie festival and explain the reason why it is a problem that it takes place within the World Heritage site. Do you know the reason why France does not want to move the location of the festival ?
    Posted 19:35, 12 Nov 2013
    The local population is aware so it will not solve the problem I think. They are aware but they still want do their hobbies like hunting for example. One of their problem is the fact that motor vehicle are not allowed everywhere and they want/need it...
    For the others question I will complete my article.
    Posted 21:19, 12 Nov 2013
    Thank you for making it clear for us! Best, Albina
    Posted 09:38, 14 Nov 2013
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