10 years: happy birthday Dolomites UNESCO!

The ten year anniversary of UNESCO status: a summer packed with events across the Dolomites World Heritage Site

Happy birthday to the Dolomites! Ten years ago, UNESCO declared our mountains a World Heritage Site. The news came from Seville, on 26 June 2009. Since then, a new pathway has opened for our Pale Mountains, and in 2019 we celebrated this on a wide scale, starting with the party in Cortina d’Ampezzo and continuing through the summer with a line-up of over 140 events. The various initiatives were coordinated by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the Ministry of the Environment, through its special Committee for the UNESCO Dolomites tenth anniversary celebrations.

More than 150 events

Map of the events fro the 10 years of the UNESCO Dolomites

A year of birthday celebrations for the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site. From January to December 2019, there were more than 150 events celebrating ten years since this prestigious status was awarded. On 26 June 2009, UNESCO listed the Dolomites as a World Heritage Site for the aesthetic value of its landscape and for the importance of its geology and geomorphology. Ten years marked with a series of events that peaked with the official celebration on 26 June 2019 in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Celebrations were coordinated by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the Ministry of the Environment through a Committee for celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the Dolomites’ UNESCO status.

Ten years of the UNESCO Dolomites

“Their dramatic vertical and pale coloured peaks in a variety of distinctive sculptural forms is extraordinary in a global context. This property also contains an internationally important combination of earth science values.”

With these words, on 26 June 2009 UNESCO recognised the Dolomites as World Heritage due to their scenic and landscape value and their geological and geomorphological importance.

The UNESCO Dolomites are not a single uninterrupted chain of peaks, but rather nine mountain Systems separated by valleys, rivers and other groups of mountains. The 142,000 hectares that make up the Site are akin to an archipelago, distributed over a far greater alpine area and divided into five different Provinces from an institutional and administrative perspective.

Download the press kit here

26 June 2019: in Cortina d’Ampezzo for the official celebrations

On the 26 June in Cortina d’Ampezzo celebrations were held to mark ten years of the UNESCO Dolomites, with a big day of united, shared and heartfelt appreciation for the mountains recognised as World Heritage and always a precious asset for all. Inclusion of the Dolomites in the UNESCO World Heritage List has sealed the birth and rebirth of an idea: that the Dolomites are an asset to be protected and promoted for their uniqueness as a whole. This milestone represents the highest international recognition, but also a starting point to build future strategies and development in the name of sustainability.

Celebrations in Cortina d’Ampezzo began at 11.00 a.m., centred around piazza Dibona, with its spectacular “Conchiglia” shell-shaped stage. Here, there was also a presentation of the more than 140 events planned throughout the summer in the regions of Vento, Trentino, South Tyrol and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

The day started with speeches from representative of the various institutions, beginning with Ministry of the Environment, which established a Committee for celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the Dolomites’ UNESCO status, chaired by Undersecretary Ms Gava. Four musical groups also performed between official proceedings. These groups, from the different areas sharing the Property, played together in the spirit of cooperation underlying UNESCO World Heritage status.

The 26 June event was the result of collaboration between the Ministry of the Environment, the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, the Municipality of Cortina, the Cortina 2021 Foundation and Regole d’Ampezzo.

Dolomites Today, everyone has a part to play

The Dolomites Today initiative was also organised to make this day truly unique. It involved creating a collective story with participation from everyone: on the 26 June, everybody could present their own relationship with the Dolomites by recording a video and sharing it. This initiative was made possible through collaboration with the Digital Storytelling Lab of the University of Udine, which had prepared several videoclips in previous weeks to explain the message of project and provide a few tips on how to make a high-quality recording.

This activity is part of the project “Promotion of the region through integrated management and communication actions of the UNESCO Dolomites WHS”, established with the support of Fondo Comuni Confinanti.