“The Mediterranean Diet is rooted in the habits of Tavirenses and this is reflected in the development of some sectors, namely gastronomy, tourism, culture, sports and education”, said Ana Paula Martins.

After Fado, the Mediterranean Diet was the second Portuguese item to be included in the list of intangible heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 4 December, 2013, and Tavira was chosen in Portugal as the representative community.

Speaking to Lusa on the occasion of the anniversary of the classification, Ana Paula Martins considered that it was an “honour” for Tavira to represent Portugal in the candidacy that brought together localities from several Mediterranean countries, but stressed that the distinction brought a “responsibility” to the municipality.

The mayor of Tavira stressed that since 2013, “a safeguard plan has been created that aims to preserve and transmit this millennial experience to current and future generations”, in order to ensure a “priority” of the municipality.

The aim of the plan, she stressed, is the “protection and appreciation of Mediterranean cultures, knowledge and local products, cultural landscapes, traditional cuisines and gastronomies, festivities and the promotion of community health”.

By ensuring the preservation of the Mediterranean Diet and the values associated with it, it is also ensured that “knowledge, creativity, identity and sustainability of the territories and the environment are enhanced”, argued Ana Paula Martins.
The municipality has also been working to take advantage of the “sense of community belonging” to “promote Tavira as a community representative of the Mediterranean Diet”, both inside and outside the country.

“We will continue to stand firm in our mission to defend and spread the essence of this lifestyle. On the occasion of the celebration of another anniversary, it is important to remember that the Mediterranean Diet is a cultural model that incorporates ancient social values and practices”, said the Mayor.