STAFF REPORTER THE Council of Majorca yesterday made its official application to UNESCO for the Tramuntana mountain range to be classified as a World Heritage Site. To promote the application and increase public awareness of the importance of the world heritage status - were it to be granted - to Majorca, the Council has also launched a school competition. The event is open to all ages, from primary through to pre-University years and requires entries in the form of colour slides, photographs, videos, sound recordings, murals or models based on studies made in the Tramuntana, to be handed in between 19th and 23rd April.

The prize is a diploma and an overnight stay by a group or class of students in a mountain refuge owned by the Council of Majorca which will also pay all associated costs.

The candidature of the Tramuntana for World Heritage Site status is being channelled through Central Government's Culture ministry. It comprises four volumes of bound material with photographs and an explanatory CD.

The application, which has been compiled by more than 50 public and private organisations, explains how the mountain territory is currently managed, and a series of proposals put forward by the people who live there as solutions to the problems they face and the threat to the environment. Suggestions will be put to UNESCO about how economic activity can be generated in the Tramuntana to the benefit of its inhabitants, the promotion of agricultural development, forestry and crafts, and how the heritage site can be conserved whilst opening its boundaries to visitors.

Were world heritage status to be granted, the Balearic Tourism ministry would promote the Tramuntana within its programme of fomenting “eco-friendly” and cultural tourism.