The two associations of ‘raiers’ (timber rafting) of Catalonia (Ribera del Segre and Noguera Pallaresa) inside the UNESCO Global Geopark Conca de Tremp-Montsec will support a European candidacy for their trade to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
As explained the president of the Association of Raiers of the Ribera del Segre, Aleix Ferrer, “the bases of this international candidacy are debated on Saturday, August 10 in Austria, the same day that the XXX Baixada dels Raiers is held in Coll de Nargó (Lleida)”.
Likewise, the president of the International Association of Raiers, Àngel Portet, comments that “we have taken advantage of the annual celebration day, which this year coincides with the international meeting, to promote the candidacy.” Portet says that “we are currently seeking internal and external institutional support,” so they hope that at the UNESCO meeting that takes place two years from now, they will got the recognition.
The two Catalan associations are working so that all organizations that defend this candidature throughout Spain can join forces in a common state candidacy
“We believe that timber rafting should be declared World Heritage so that this ancient trade is not forgotten, to honor our ancestors,” Ferrer explained.
Although the Raiers Day that is held periodically in Coll de Nargó responds to the fact that it was the main nucleus of ‘raiers’ of Catalonia, currently the descents with their rafts are “a consolidated party” in several places in Europe.
30 years of Raiers in Coll de Nargó
Four ‘raiers’ (men) and one ‘raiera’ (woman) have gone down the Segre river on Saturday 10th August at the 30th Baixada de Raiers de Coll de Nargó, in an edition in which about twenty people participated.
Around 300 people have witnessed the descent of the ‘raiers’ by the river, after which a popular lunch has been held in the Town Hall square.
The rafts that have been used have been built throughout this week to be used in the Baixada, which ends with the traditional floral offering to the wife of the ‘raier’.
UNESCO in the territory Catalan of Lleida
This candidacy can add another quality badge in the territory of Lleida, where the UNESCO Global Geopark Conca de Tremp-Montsec has recently been declared for its international geological heritage. This recent UNESCO figure aims to stimulate local economics using the links between the geological heritage and the rest of the cultural and natural heritage of the territory.
Likewise, there are other UNESCO figures such as Cultural Heritage where, in this same territory, the Rock Art of the Levantine Mediterranean Arch stands out with two territorial representations: l’home de Sant Gervàs, in the area of La Terreta (municipality of Tremp) and the rock paintings of the Cova del Tabac (municipality of Camarasa). There is also a representation of Intangible Heritage like the Mediterranean diet, els castellers (human towers) or les “falles”. And finally, supported by UNESCO, there is the Starlight figure in recognition of the great preservation of the dark sky.