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By Humphrey Carter

UNESCO yesterday declared the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range one of its new Natural Heritage Sites.
Palma - It will come as a bitter pill to swallow but the campaign launched by the previous Council of Majorca to have the Serra de Tramuntana declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site proved successful yesterday with the council's application being approved at a meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Paris.

The former President of the Council of Majorca, Francina Armengol, mounted a tough bid and managed to get the support of over 20'000 people, including many of the rich and famous who either live on or visit the island, as well as members of the Spanish royal family, who signed an online petition.

The decision, reached yesterday by UNESCO; means that the Serra de Tramuntana is considered to be of special cultural or physical significance and the Balearics will therefore receive help and assistance from UNESCO in preserving the nature and the culture of the mountain range.

The declaration that it is a World Heritage Site also guarantees the Tramuntana global publicity.
A great deal of time and funding has been invested in restoring the old stone walls, paths and old mountain cabins over the years, many of the latter are now open to the public, but continual financial backing is needed to preserve and maintain the mountain range and UNESCO will now be able to help that.

The decision was obviously welcomed by the new Balearic government and Council of Majorca, the latter only being created yesterday, but the real credit goes to the former administration which was all but destroyed at the local and regional elections last month.