PANACUS-TB: territorial cooperation for the development of knowledge on natural, cultural and historical heritage

The natural, cultural and historical heritage of Tuscany and of Balagne, (the PANACUS-TB project), is a cross-border project; the aim is to establish a cultural exchange between schools in Maremma in Tuscany, and Balagne in Corsica. The activities carried out under the project framework meant that the school groups involved gained a greater knowledge of their natural, cultural and historical heritage, as well as the key identifying elements of these territories.

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Learning material: booklets, information material and a game involving magnetic posters and pictures used to re-create the environment. © Municipality of Castiglione della Pescaia Learning material: booklets, information material and a game involving magnetic posters and pictures used to re-create the environment. © Municipality of Castiglione della Pescaia

" The importance of the PANACUS-TB project (PAtrimonio NAturale, CUlturale e Storico della Toscana e della Balagne) lies in the rediscovery of the history and natural heritage of the two regions experienced by the young people involved in this project. They have learned about ecosystems, from the pine forest to coastal regions, Wilderness 2000 areas, the regions in which they live, and the opportunity to develop environmental awareness. "

Romina Bicocchi, project manager for Legambiente

Under the coordination of the municipality of Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto in Tuscany), the various partners involved in the project include environmental associations in Legambiente and I Sbuleca Mare, two schools in Balagne, and three others in Maremma. A total of about 200 students and 10 teachers took part in exchanges in order to identify common traits between these two isolated areas of the Mediterranean. 

Cultural identity and natural heritage

The main purpose of the PANACUS-TB project was to promote an exchange between Tuscan and Corsican students by identifying the cultural identity and natural heritage that both regions have in common. The communes of Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto in Tuscany are full of varied landscapes: the nature reserve of Diaccia Botrona, archaeological sites, the Moorish castle of Sammezzano and the coastal pine forest, are just a few of the elements that make this a popular tourist destination. The region of Balagne in Corsica, with its woods, mountains, olive groves and creeks is characterised by rich biodiversity and well preserved local crafts and traditions.

The aim of this project is to develop knowledge of this heritage, but also to highlight the analogies between these two coastal areas that share a Mediterranean footprint. In order to enable them to better understand their heritage, research work was carried out among residents of the two regions, as well as guided tours of the sites and travel exchanges. Virtual exchanges, in the form of correspondence via the Internet, allowed the students to communicate about the project in addition to the physical exchanges. In class, students were divided into working groups: a 'natural heritage' group worked on an inventory of the fauna and flora and a "cultural and historical heritage" group looked at inventories of sites.

Among the learning material available on traditions, the local economy, biodiversity and natural habitats, there was also a teaching kit. This included a booklet for teachers, student cards and a magnetic game where players could recreate the environment and its rich heritage.

Reusable teaching tools 

500 copies of the pedagogical tools on the topic of biodiversity and traditional trades were produced so that schools could re-use them. Social networks put in place under the project framework remain active, thereby benefiting other Internet users.

Beside the direct beneficiaries – the students and school partners – there are also indirect beneficiaries, such as the local residents and tourists. A photography exhibition created for the project can still be visited, as well as other documents intended to provide information and raise awareness. In addition to these cultural advantages, PANACUS-TB has helped stimulate economic activities in the areas in question: jobs opportunities were created, including vacancies for a designer and manager of the website, cultural guides, educators, transport companies and for printing the information material. 

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the ‘PANACUS’ project was EUR 98 945, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 74 208 under the Operational Programme ‘Italy – maritime France’ for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment comes under the ‘integration of resources and services' priority.

Draft date

28/08/2017