INHERIT in a nutshell
INHERIT is a project of the Interreg MED Programme, which is a European Transnational Cooperation Programme. The main objective of the Interreg MED Programme is to promote sustainable growth in the Mediterranean area by fostering innovative concepts and practices and a reasonable use of resources and by supporting social integration through an integrated and territorially based cooperation approach. INHERIT belongs to the Sustainable Tourism Thematics.
The project started on 1st of February 2018 and is expected to be completed on 31st January 2022 (48 months). INHERIT activities will involve 15 partners from 10 Mediterranean countries.
Tourism in the MED regions has ben growing at an accelerated pace in the last decades. As a consequence the joint asset of MED coastal and maritime natural heritage is under pressure from the adverse effects of overcapacity tourism flows that increase every year. MED coastal tourist destinations face the common challenges of seasonality and overcapacity tourism streams, as well as the consequent excessive construction, waste generation, resource depletion, desertification, structural water shortages and biodiversity loss. The challenge is in some cases so acute that has recently led to anti-tourism marches (e.g. Venice and Barcelona) demonstrating the demand for change and making further growth even politically unsustainable. Without change, the tourism development in the MED basin will encounter major obstacles for further growth within a deteriorating natural heritage. Thus, combining the protection of natural heritage with sustainable tourism is the only option for the tourism industry to further grow and to face the competion of other countries.
The INHERIT project aims to conserve and valorise natural heritage in MED coastal and maritime tourist destinations. The project will test and deploy a new approach adapted to MED specificities protecting natural heritage from the adverse effects of intensive tourism. INHERIT will promote sustainable tourism alleviating seasonality and tackling the surpassing of the hosting capacity, by designing and implementing a “bottom-up” protection approach relying on self-regulation and monitoring by local society and tourism stakeholders.
INHERIT proposes a new approach to protect MED coastal and maritime natural heritage, including:
- A novel mix of measures (e.g. ICZM-MSP integration, “bottom-up” waste management initiatives) to protect its natural heritage from mass tourism effects (excess construction & waste, desertification-erosion, exceeded capacity of specific destinations, tourism seasonality);
- A strategy of transnational cooperation to form a network of MED areas, namely INHERITURA areas, which will prioritise the enhanced protection of their natural heritage as an asset to develop sustainable tourism activities (e.g. sea caving in the MED, MED inland tourism itineraries, remote islands activities) and to ensure responsible development.