© Michel Brumat / University of Luxembourg
On Wednesday, Luxembourg's environmental heritage was honoured by Unesco, as the Minette region received the biosphere reserve label.
The "Minett Unesco Biosphere" project, which has just been honoured by Unesco's "Man and the Biosphere" programme, consists of eleven municipalities belonging to the Pro-Sud union: Bettembourg, Differdange, Dudelange, Esch-sur-Alzette, Käerjeng, Kayl, Mondercange, Pétange, Rumelange, Sanem and Schifflange. With the announcement, Luxembourg joins a group of 700 reserves spread over 124 countries.
The Unesco site describes it as follows:
"Located in densely populated southern Luxembourg and bordering France, the biosphere reserve has the country’s second largest concentration of inhabitants and employment after the capital. It is home to more than 171,000 inhabitants, nearly one third of Luxembourg’s population concentrated over 200 km², approximately 10% of the country. The region has a long tradition of hospitality towards immigrants resulting in a multicultural, dynamic and cosmopolitan population of over 150 nationalities. Formerly a mining area, most of the mines in the biosphere reserve have been reclaimed by vegetation, creating a great variety of natural habitats."
In a statement, the government and the Pro-Sud union said: "The south intends to pursue its efforts in various fields, such as tourism, culture, education, the conservation of its industrial and natural heritage or urban development, in order to strengthen the integration of a population in full growth and to preserve biodiversity in all environments."