The French territory of the Mont Viso Biosphere Reserve, composed of small towns and perched villages, surrounded by peaks reaching more than 3000 m, is located in medium and high mountain areas. Access is limited due to its geographical characteristics: gorges, peaks, winding roads, remote valleys. This difficulty of access allows it to promote its natural resources, as evidenced by the continuum of Franco-Italian natural spaces, its culture and its expertise. Thus, over the years, the orientations and choices of the resident populations have helped to promote a remarkable living and working environment, close to the natural environment that has always been preserved.
Several organisations are at the heart of land management (State with Natura 2000, Countries, Communities of Municipalities, Regional Nature Parks) in order to promote sustainable development. Their actions are mainly focused on the dialogue of stakeholders on the major issues of the territory with the objectives of social equity, the development and sustainability of the economy and the preservation of the environment.
It took ten years to reach the designation of the Biosphere Reserve. This idea of enhancing and having UNESCO recognize this historical cooperation has been a real motivation for many Franco-Italian projects in scientific, ecological, economic, social and cultural terms. The potential of a transboundary biosphere reserve has found, through these initiatives, a real meaning for the actors of the territory.
The Mont-Viso Biosphere Reserve is home to rare and specific natural and heritage resources that have been maintained and conserved by the men and women who have lived from it over the millennia and to whom they are very attached.