On the 16th of July, 2007, the Ministers of Agriculture of Spain, Greece, Italy and France announced to the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the EU, their initiative to highlight the values of the Mediterranean Diet and thus, their intention to request the inclusion of the Mediterranean Diet on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In the meantime, the Mediterranean Diet through its multifunctional connection with sustainable agriculture, environment, public health and nutrition, culture and tradition, was an issue for discussion and consideration at various national, European and international fora.
In 2008, four countries, namely Greece, Italy, Morocco and Spain submitted the transnational nomination file to UNESCO.
The 5th Session of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee assessed the request and on November 16, 2010, decided to include the Mediterranean Diet in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and declared Koroni (on behalf of Greece), Cilento (on behalf of Italy), Chefchaouen (on behalf of Morocco) and Soria (on behalf of Spain) as Emblematic Communities.
The aforesaid session of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee took place in Nairobi, the capital of the Republic of Kenya, from 15 to 19 November 2010 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre. The Chairperson of the session was Dr Jacob Ole Miaron of Kenya and Vice-Chairs from Cyprus, Croatia, the Republic of Korea and Oman were present.
Since the nomination of the Mediterranean Diet was multinational, the Convention of UNESCO foresees the enlargement of the State Parties that support and fulfill the conditions for inscription in UNESCO's world treasures.
The interest of Cyprus, Portugal and Croatia to participate in this common cultural heritage was accepted with great satisfaction, since it encourages the intercultural dialogue among countries that supported the inscription of the Mediterranean Diet on UNESCO's list.
On the 4th of December, 2013, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage decided, during a meeting held in Baku (Azerbaijan), to inscribe the Mediterranean Diet on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with new process and version, thus enlarging the group of countries which initially proposed the inscription of this element in 2010.
Intangible cultural heritage is connected with certain communities, groups or individuals that recognize the intangible element as part of their cultural heritage.
Emblematic communities were selected in a symbolic way, as examples of communities that maintain and preserve the Mediterranean Diet in their respective countries.
Each country selected an emblematic community in order to describe the Mediterranean Diet on its territory, as a way of life and fruit of constant sharing. These communities are: Agros (Cyprus), Brač and Hvar (Croatia), Koroni/Coroni (Greece), Cilento (Italy), Chefchaouen (Morocco), Tavira (Portugal) and Soria (Spain).