Well known for being one of Europe’s most stunning and cleanest waterways, the valleys of the Dordogne need to be protected, which is why local people are coming together to try and give the river UNESCO status.
A UNESCO site, is a site that been nominated for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s International World Heritage program. The program aims to preserve areas of outstanding cultural or natural importance.
There are already ten sites in France that are classified as a UNESCO Biospheres. In recognition of the ecosystem being of major ecological interest, UNESCO aims to contribute to the areas preservation, engage and support sustainable management approaches, develop research to improve understanding of the interaction between communities and natural environments and aims to educate land managers and the public, to the idea of preservation of the environment.
The river is under threat from two main factors, dams and changes to farming. Epidor, a group set up to protect the river that also represents the areas through which it flows, told The Advertiser that these problems were having ”a damaging effect on the fish population and other river uses.”
Roland Thieleke, told The Advertiser that the river Dordogne should be given the status of a UNESCO site for a number of reasons. He said of the classification: “It will boost [the rivers] international status and bring great prestige – it will also make people realise they live in a region which is truly rare and if we are not careful we could ruin it.”