“Meseta Ibérica’ Transboundary Biosphere Reserve proposal – EGTC ZASNET”
The EGTC ZASNET is promoting the project Cross-border Biosphere Reserve Meseta Ibérica. This project is financed by POCTEP (Operative Program of Cross Border Cooperation Portugal - Spain), which aims at the development of an application to UNESCO for the creation of the biggest Cross-border Biosphere Reserve in Europe.
This territory will cover 4 natural parks, Montesinho Natural Park, Sanabria Lake Nature Reserve and surroundings, Douro Internacional Natural Park and Arribes del Duero Natural Park and several areas classified in the Natura 2000 Network, such as the protected landscape of the Azibo, the Sierra de la Culebra, the and the Sabor River/Maçãs River, etc.
A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve represents a "certificate of environmental quality" that can be used in the promotion of the development and employment. The recognition by the UNESCO can serve to highlight and reward these efforts.
The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation ZASNET was established by the Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 of the European Parliament in January 2010. It is a body with legal personality that aims to articulate a common space, to promote cross-border relations and to implement territorial cross-border co-operation within the framework of the local and sub-regional policies in the territory of the associated members.
The founding members of EGTC ZASNET are in Portugal the Associação de Municípios da Terra Fria Transmontana, the Associação de Municípios da Terra Quente Transmontana, the Associação de Municípios do Douro Superior and in Spain the Diputación de Salamanca, the Ayuntamiento de Zamora and the Diputación of Zamora.