Valle Salado de Añana is a representative example of good heritage, cultural and environmental practices that harmoniously combine the management, enhancement and the sustainable recovery of all the tangible and intangible values present in the landscape.
Its main strength resides in the unanimous support of public institutions, of the citizens of the territory and, especially, of the local community.
The Management Plan is a document updated in 2013 for the candidacy of Valle Salado to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is based on a solid Master Plan developed between 2000 and 2003 by a large multidisciplinary team that documented and studied Valle Salado from every viewpoint and proposed the way forward to enhance its value. The guidelines contained in the Management Plan are the guide to restoring the sustainability of Valle Salado.
The changing nature of the project and the experience gained over time has led to the development of new lines of work and to changes and improvements. Thus, the Management Plan includes the Master Plan and all the updates required to enhance and ensure the future of this unique salt farm in the world.
The recovery and enhancement of Valle Salado is an exemplary project for the following reasons:
- It promotes research and knowledge through a Management Plan prepared by a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary team of architects, archaeologists, environmentalists, geologists, economists, landscape experts... Its guidelines provide present and future opportunities to Valle Salado and it the surrounding areas.
- It is an example of institutional and civic collaboration. This project brings together all the relevant public authorities with responsibilities regarding heritage as well as the people living in the vicinity of Valle Salado. They have all become part of the Foundation that manages the property.
- It is a global recovery model of a living cultural landscape, which perfectly balances tradition and modernity. The building and production "know-how" developed by the salt workers over more than 6,500 years coexists with the necessary construction and production developments that have made Valle Salado and its Añana Salt international benchmarks.
- It integrates the valley in the cultural management and protection policies regarding heritage in all its aspects: declaration as a Site of Cultural Interest (maximum protection possible) and as a Ramsar Wetland, in addition to candidacies to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS).
- It promotes the multiple values of the cultural landscape among society at an international level by trying to promote awareness of the importance of traditional crafts in the recovery and maintenance of the fragile ecological balance of these ecosystems.
- It enhances the social and economic recovery of Valle Salado and its surroundings by developing employment and training policies that benefit local citizens, especially young people, and by fostering a sense of pride, belonging and identity among the people who live here and enjoy the property.
- It is an example of the active participation of society in the use and management of the property. Proof of this is the salt workers' association, Gatzagak, the original owner of Valle Salado. This association has 900 years of history behind it and has performed one of the greatest acts of generosity and respect for our heritage by donating the ownership of the salt-pans to the Valle Salado de Añana Foundation.
This association, depository of intangible assets, and the City Council of Añana represent the local community and belong to the Foundation. Thus, another of the basic principles of the European Landscape Convention is fulfilled: that the population of Añana must become an active part of the management of the property. Their rights and responsibilities are acknowledged in the knowledge acquisition and decision making processes.
Valle Salado, thanks to the Foundation that manages its recover process, has already become a driving economic force in the district through a number of actions: the production of salt, tourism, gastronomy, recovery work, research, local and district development, pedagogical-educational work...