TIDE stakeholders have a lot to say about their involvement in this Atlantic Area funded project and benefits from the cooperation process. This week, we virtually travel to Cadiz in the South of Spain to speak with one of the regional project stakeholders, Jorge Serradilla, Director-Conservator of the Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park (Parque Natural del Estrecho).
Why did you agree to participate in TIDE and what aspects of the project attracted you?
I believe that a deeper knowledge of our cultural and natural heritage is an essential step in order to be able to assess and make conservation proposals. The possibility of making our naval history known, is exciting. We can use the enhancement of these shipwrecks and the history that frames them as a resource for environmental awareness and education, and it can be a great tool for the management of the natural space. The TIDE project has several aspects of interest, but one of the most interesting is the participative nature of the project; a meeting place for Universities, Natural Space Managers, Underwater Activities Federations, Public Administrations, etc.
Do you consider that the process of exchange of experiences, the good practices shared from other countries, are useful to improve your knowledge and your daily work?
The fact that this project has an international dimension can bring knowledge and experience shared by all partners and sites. We can improve and complement decision-making, both in terms of knowledge of heritage, research techniques and resource management models. It is undoubtedly a very successful model.
At present, in which activities are you involved?
I am currently Director-Conservator of the Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park. A natural maritime-terrestrial space that lies between two continents and three marine regions, a meeting place for cetaceans, birds and civilisation and cultures, giving rise to a space with a high biodiversity and a broad historical and cultural heritage. To this must be added its landscapes and beaches, places for recreation, leisure and sport, bringing together a high level of tourist and ecotourism pressure.
What benefit(s) would you highlight from participating in the TIDE project?
As Director of the Parque Natural del Estrecho, I have a vision of managing both natural and cultural resources. Through the Management Plan of the natural area itself, I have sought the conservation objectives to be able to frame the enhancement of underwater resources, with the aim of boosting the economic sector of the Park and its area of influence and, at the same time, guaranteeing the conservation of natural resources. On the other hand, I believe that the use of new technologies, such as augmented reality or virtual reality, is a magnificent tool for raising awareness and environmental education, an opportunity to show, value and conserve our heritage.