The Land-Sea project is part of the European Interreg program which helps European regional and local governments to develop and make better policies that lead to a sustainable and integrated impact for people and places through the creation of common spaces of sharing experiences between different regions. Land-Sea has a duration of five years and has a funding of 1,040,749 euros.
The specific objective of the project is to address the issue of coastal zone management policies, focusing in particular on the preservation of coastal ecosystems and their socio-economic development, in terms of sustainability, connecting with ecotourism strategies.
The coastal zones comprise a complex system identified not only along the same coastline, but also with its various subsystems and connected river basins. In the European Union, the coast represents one of the most vulnerable and fragile systems in physical, territorial, anthropic, social or economic terms.
The Land-Sea project aims to promote more inclusive, effective and efficient regional governance processes with the idea of increasing and encouraging the creation of institutional skills and abilities for the development of a sustainable coastal system that preserves natural habitats and contextualises the support for the development of regional ecotourism strategies.
The approach is based on a participatory process of interregional learning based on experience and knowledge that will conclude with the elaboration of 4 action plans to be implemented in a later period, mainly with the European structural funds programs of the participating regions. These regions are: Catalonia, Varna (Bulgaria), Hamburg (Germany) and Molise (Italy).
The idea is that the regional programs chosen (policy instruments) be improved, thanks to a more efficient management and a new approach in terms of intervention projects and measures, so that they are relevant both for the managing authorities and for the beneficiaries of the projects. Programs / plans chosen: local authorities, economic operators in the field of ecotourism, etc., as well as the environmental management of coastal areas.
In the case of Catalonia, the partners participating in the project are the Generalitat de Catalunya, through the General Directorate of Tourism, and the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona. Their efforts in the framework of the project will focus on the preservation, protection, promotion and development of the natural and cultural heritage, especially of those natural areas with tourist interest. The system of protected natural areas of Catalonia is one of the key elements to promote the conservation of the biodiversity of the natural spaces of the coastal areas, but at the same time, it is an attraction for tourists, which generates an important environmental impact in these areas.
For the preservation of these areas it is necessary to create projects, plans and policies that keep them as a tourist attraction but limiting their environmental impact. The main objectives are: to promote the conservation of natural areas; to give value to these natural areas, to the biodiversity and the natural heritage of Catalonia, both from the citizen's side and as a tourist resource and to promote the economic and sustainable development of these areas.
On the other hand, these natural tourist attractions generate an environmental and social impact in the nearby urban areas that should be controlled and tried to mitigate. Seasonality of tourism is one of the major problems as there are many places that face a saturation of services and infrastructures (roads, car parks, shops, hotels, water or waste management plants ...) during the high season. In the current program there is no connection to these impacts and the strategies to reduce them are not contemplated at the moment.

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Generalitat de Catalunya