Integration of cultural and spiritual values at the Montsant Natural Park, Catalonia
Montsant has been considered a holy massif, for centuries, as its name shows. Multi secular hermit center, managed by Christian monastic communities (firts, Cistercian and next, Carthusian) for seven centuries, its religious values were exceptional in the past and are still widely recognized in the present.
The natural heritage of Montsant also has great value, both for its geomorphology, vegetation and its shelter, as well as for the landscape that they make up.
Therefore, the Montsant contains very significant natural, cultural and spiritual values. In 2002, the Government of Catalonia, in order to ensure its protection, declared the Serra del Montsant Nature Reserve and, four years later, was part of the Natura 2000 European network.
At the request of the governing body of the Nature Park, the Silene Association prepared the case study, following the methodology of the Delos Initiative. The work includes the following sections: Backgrounds of the Delos Initiative, methodology, natural values, cultural and spiritual values, pressures and impacts, perspectives of conservation and sustainability Proposals for recommendations. The recommendations feature 13 measures, which include the expansion of the protected natural area, various improvements regarding public use, education and management, and the effective integration of natural, cultural and spiritual values within the natural park.
The results and proposals of the work were presented and discussed with the manager of the Park’s management team, Neus Miró, as well as the Permanent Commission of the Governing Board, in the autumn of 2007, in order to be agrreded upon. All the actions were finally unanimously approved, on February 13, 2008, by the governing board, chaired by Ricard Pasanau.