HELAND is a European framework project aiming to promote socio-economic sustainable development through innovative technological actions for Mediterranean tourism-heritage and landscapes protection clusters. HELAND counts with the participation of organizations from Malta, Spain, Cyprus, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon dealing with tourism studies, regional development, innovative solutions and technological actions for Mediterranean tourism-heritage and landscapes protection clusters. The HELAND Project is co-funded by the European Commission through ENPI (European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument) Programme, which is the financing instrument of the new European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) for the 2007-2013 period aiming at reinforcing cooperation between the European Union (EU) and partner countries regions placed along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
The main objective of HELAND project is the promotion of sustainable development through innovative technological actions for Mediterranean tourism heritage and landscape protections clusters. The achievement of this strategic objective will be obtained by means of:
- Promotion of socio-economic and research in the process of local development of Mediterranean Sea Basin countries, since HELAND considers that research activities support the process of the competitive development of territories.
- Establishment of a common approach for sustainable tourism through the set of meaningful sustainable indicators in all partners’ countries.
- Modernization of “mature” productive sectors such as tourism by means of implementing a new perspective based on sustainability criteria, international normative and on the know –how of the local actors.
- Involvement of all social stakeholders in the process since HELAND aims at responding to new demands not only of the tourist but also of the local stakeholders.
- Diffusion of new procedures and innovative technologies through the setting up of a cross-border network at Mediterranean Basin level involving Universities, research centers, professional societies, regional institutions, SME clusters, NGOs, etc.
In the short term, HELAND will have a direct impact in the case studies, which will see how its competitiveness is enhanced by means of applying the new methodological approach, as well as the tailored innovation solutions. HELAND is also expected to have a tangible impact on target groups on the long term. Through the direct involvement of representative of all social stakeholders during the life of the project, it is expected that they use the results of the project as a new tool to empower sustainable tourism.
The pilot site of Palestine “Wadi Al Badhan” was chosen for HELAND project as it is one of many places in West Bank, Palestine where you can see the harmony between history, nature and the Palestinian people. It is a main tourism destination for many of the Palestinians who live in the West Bank, and one of the most important landscapes that needs to be managed environmentally to promote tourism in the village. There is a persistent need to redesign the natural landscape of the village to suit both local and international tourism, which would consequently develop the socio-economic status of the entire village. Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) through HELAND project aims at raising awareness to Palestine’s rich cultural attractions and landscapes and introducing locals and visitors to Al Badhan natural beauty and cultural heritage. HELAND project aims to promote the socio-economic and enhancement of Wadi Al Badhan village through sustainable tourism and landscape protection. We love nature, and through HELAND we want to preserve Palestine’s environment of AL Badhan Valley, make it happy, natural and eco-friendly.