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FINAL CONFERENCE & CROSS-BORDER MEETING EX.PO AUS/0037 - „EXtension of POtentiality of Adriatic Unesco Sites"

                                   „SHARING THE FUTURE WITHOUT BORDERS“
                                                    February 2 – 3, 2016
Dubrovnik, Croatia
On February 2-3, 2016, the Final Conference and Cross-Border Meeting of Final Beneficiaries, from 7 countries across the Adriatic region, was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which marked the final days of the project EX.PO AUS/0037 – „EXtension of POtentiality of Adriatic Unesco Sites“, co-funded by the European Union within the framework of the Adriatic IPA Cross-Border  Cooperation 2007-2013 program. 
The EX.PO AUS project includes 12 partners: City of Dubrovnik as Lead Partner, Region of Istria and the City of Split (Croatia); Province of Ferrara, Municipality of Ravenna – Art Musuem of the City, Municipality of Alberobello and the Aquileia Foundation (Italy); University of Primorska – Science and Research Centre (Slovenia); Center for Conservation and Archaeology of Montenegro (Montenegro); Commission to Preserve National Monuments (Bosnia and Herzegovina); Office of Administration and Coordination of Butrint (Albania); and the Municipality of Corfu (Greece).
The various activities were geared towards the valorization of UNESCO sites, such as many cross-border meetings, lectures and conferences on both sides of the Adriatic. A variety of publications, including and scientific and educational materials, were produced, as well as successful Pilot Projects. The total value of the EX.PO AUS project was initially 3.324.700,40 EUR, where 85% of costs were co-funded by the IPA program (2.825.995,34 EUR), and 15% by Final Beneficiaries in the project.
The venue was Hotel Rixos Libertas, where the EX.PO AUS team first held their Kick-Off Meeting in 2012. The conference brought together a variety of participants, both nationally and from cross-border regions, such as the Croatian Association of Historic Towns – HUPG, the University of Dubrovnik, local and national agencies and institutions, the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, as well as guests from the Secretariat for the Conservation of Natural Heritage, Kotor and the Municipality of Kotor, Montenegro, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice, and as a highlight, a member of the Managing Authority in L’Aquila, Italy. 
The Final Conference on February 2nd presented the results of the 3-1/2 year EX.PO AUS project, which enabled advanced energy-audits and the touristic valorization of the cultural, archaeological and vernacular heritage under UNESCO protection. These results will, in turn, encourage an increase in the international tourist arrivals throughout the Adriatic region. 

Biserka Simatović, EX.PO AUS Project Manager, opened the conference and announced the guest speakers, Mr. Nadan Petrovic, Managing Authority in L’Aquila, Italy; Mr. Davide Poletto, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice, Italy; Ms. Gaella Gottwald, Lazareti Project Manager; Ms. Andrea Novakovic, DURA Development Agency; and Ms. Romana Vlasic, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, who briefly presented the role and activities of their respective institutions. 
The UNESCO City of Dubrovnik, as Lead Partner in the EX.PO AUS project, successfully completed its Pilot Project with an Energy Audit of the Dubrovnik Natural History Museum, which included the installation of smart cooling/heating of all 4 floor levels, LED lighting and new windows and doors. This was a major achievement, as the 16th century palace located in the historical center has now been formally issued with a “C” grade energy certificate (formerly “D”). 
Dubrovnik also actively contributed to the publications on Drystone Heritage and Mosaic Database for southern Dalmatia, and was responsible for the professional analysis of European tourist trends, the production of a professional DVD film of all Final Beneficiaries presenting the Adriatic sites, including an e-Planner on the project’s website: http://planner.expoaus.org   
The UNESCO City of Split (CRO) carried out an energy audit of the Split Museum and contributed to the overall activities of the project with its expertise in the management of cultural heritage. The pilot project of the City of Split Grad also included the complete installation of LED lighting in the Museum, the reconstruction and completely new exterior windows and doors, whereby the investment achieved an Energy Audit from „D“ to the new „C“ level. 
The UNESCO Municipality of Alberobello (IT) presented the benefits generated by the sustainability plan for culture and tourism, placing an accent on projects that encouraged and maintained the traditional heritage of building techniques preserved in the Trulli architecture, which were recognized by UNESCO for their uniqueness.  It also produced books on “Drystone Heritage in the Adriatic Area” and the “Valorisation of Adriatic UNESCO sites, EX.PO AUS Pilot Projects”. 
The Aquileia Foundation (IT), a Roman, medieval city, organized a number of key conferences regarding archaeological sites and the promotion of archaeological tourism, the restoration of UNESCO ancient sites (Stalla Violin), the compilation of a database of articles and photographs, as well as a brochure regarding the heritage under UNESCO protection. 
The Province of Ferrara (IT) conducted an energy efficiency pilot project, achieving savings with the installation of a new generation heating/cooling system, benefiting the efficient conservation of the UNESCO Este Castle. Ferrara also produced excellent “Guidelines on the use of renewable-energy and energy-saving technologies” within listed historical buildings used as public sites of cultural heritage.
The UNESCO Municipality of Kotor (CG) produced a book on “Joint Cross-Border Approach to Sustainable Management of the UNESCO WHS on the Adriatic” in order to prevent uncontrolled urbanization and better conservation practices for cultural heritage on both sides of the Adriatic. 
The University of Primorska, Science and Research Centre (SLO) collaborated on all issues related to sustainable management of heritage sites, held educational workshops, and worked on the valorization of the cultural and natural heritage of Piran and its saltpans as a potential UNESCO site.
The UNESCO site Municipality of Ravenna (IT) established two important Databases on the conservation of mosaics and other invaluable heritage, the publication of a comprehensive book on mosaics “Ravenna Musiva – Preservation and restoration of architectural decoration mosaics and frescoes”, and held educational seminars and activities on the protection of heritage. 
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments in Sarajevo (BiH) ensured the visibility and restoration of water mills in the UNESCO Mostar area, and a better understanding of vernacular heritage through the publication of a leaflet, all part of the rich cultural heritage of the Neretva valley in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thereby contributing to the preservation of traditions in local Bosnian communities. 
The Region of Istria (CRO) promoted the UNESCO Euphrasian Basilica in Porec, creating the project logo and promotional materials for the EX.PO AUS project, as well as the production of various promotional items and a comprehensive publication on the Basilica “Eufrazijana”.
The Office of Administration and Coordination of Butrint (ALB) carried out restoration works on the Ali Pasha Castle in the UNESCO National Park of Butrint and coordinated closely on management issues in cross-border meetings. 
The UNESCO Municipality of Corfu (GR) geared its activities towards the energy audit of the municipal building frequented by many tourists, thereby ensuring the additional protection of the cultural heritage. 
More information: www.expoaus.org i http://planner.expoaus.org 



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