2018 initiatives for research and education

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Far-reaching action, proposals tailored for their recipients, high professional standards. Our feet planted in the present but with an eye to the future. These are the ingredients making up the Research and Education Network of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, coordinated by the Autonomous Province of Trento with the support of the TSM –Trentino School of Management / Step Area UNESCO. A look through the plan for the initiatives for 2018 makes possible an in-depth understanding of the aims of this network and the importance of the action it takes, not only spreading knowledge of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that will encourage appreciation of it and aid its conservation but also providing targeted opportunities for discussion and collective growth.


The Palazzo della Magnifica Comunità di Cadore, in Pieve di Cadore, will be hosting the “Corso itinerante di formazione in geografia sulle Dolomiti Patrimonio dell’Umanità” (Travelling Training Course on the Geography of the Dolomites World Heritage Site), from the 6th to the 8th of July. In the shadow of the Marmarole peaks and within sight of the birthplace of the painter Titian this course could not help but focus on the Antelao and Marmarole peaks. The course, created in partnership with CAI (the Italian Alpine Club), the Magnifica Comunità di Cadore and the Biodiversity Department of the Carabinieri, will be coordinated by the Giovanni Angelini Foundation – a mountain study centre in Belluno and it is aimed at teachers of any subject working in any level and type of school, CAI trainers, environmental, tourist or nature guides, local authority technical staff and tourist industry operators.


Between spring and summer time there will be a return of the “Corso di specializzazione per accompagnatori di media montagna sul tema Dolomiti Patrimonio mondiale UNESCO” (Specialist Training Course for Mid-Mountain Guides on the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site). This is a precisely targeted course for mid-mountain guides who have already attended and passed a training course for hiking guides. The course, held over twelve days with eleven seven-hour modules, imparts all the necessary knowledge of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, taking in its geology, geomorphology, natural history and culture, touching on some of the most interesting and attractive places in the nine systems. The course, to be held at the Abbazia di Novacella Conference Centre, will be coordinated by the natural history and local development department of the Natural Parkland Office of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.

In the autumn the focus will be again on managers of mountain huts. On 20th and 21st November the second edition of the training course will be held, aimed at the vast network of owners and managers who, in recent years, have been among those showing the best understanding and significance of UNESCO listing, expressing the will and the desire to learn even more.
The course will be held at the Tre Cime Visitor Centre, the Cultural Centre Grand Hotel Toblach in Dobbiaco.


You don’t change a winning team, especially when playing Concentration! “Io vivo qui nelle Dolomiti Friulane, patrimonio dell’UNESCO” (I Live Here in the Friuli Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a project that a great many teachers based in Friuli schools in the Dolomite area (Val Tramontina, Val Colvera, Val Cellina, Alta Val Tagliamento) work on year after year as a regular part of their curriculum.
Involving activities and courses that vary from school to school, the aim of “ I Live Here” is to stimulate young people to explore and get to know the local area in which they live and go to school and to teach them to value and enhance the World Heritage Site for which they are and will be responsible. In the 2017-2018 school year over 20 classes have created 16 projects which they have launched and which are nearing completion, organised by their teachers with the support of the Dolomiti Friulane Natural Parkland Authority acting as coordinator for the whole course. Then it will be time to set the organisational machine in action for the following school year which will also see a meaningful sharing of experiences with the students from some schools in the Province of Belluno.

Life-long learning carries on in Friuli where the beginning of 2018 saw the launch of a training course aimed at administrators, businesses and cultural entities. The central theme was adding value to the area within the context of its listing as a World Heritage Site, with an eye to the good practice already put into action elsewhere.


The 15-place course scheduled on 8th June and 6th July at MUSE in Trento is aimed in particular at local administrators. Experts in culture, history and earth sciences will play their part in offering a platform for discussion for those with responsibility for the governance of the Dolomite systems, who these days are called upon, not least because of the area’s UNESCO listing, to make important strategic choices. As well as discussing the mountain landscape, culture and tourism, the subject of climate change will also be dealt with.

Those who manage natural and cultural sites listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites and who come from all over the world will be the target for the course to be held from 20th to the 22nd of September. The sessions will take place at Villa Welsperg in Tonadico, in the Paneveggio Pale di San Martino natural parkland and at MUSE in Trento. It will offer the opportunity to explore those present and future challenges raised by active conservation and development in areas in which enormous potential is accompanied by great fragility.

However, technical experts and administrators are not enough to spread the word about the values and to raise awareness of what it means to belong to a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Opinion leaders are also needed, such as representatives of regional tourism promotion bodies, other associations and business operators who can play an essential role in creating new strategies for enhancing the value of the World Heritage Site. What’s more, they can also act as ever more knowledgeable and highly motivated torch-bearers.
However, this is a lengthy process and it cannot start from zero. The course is aimed at those who have already attended the Opinion Leader and Stakeholder course held by the Scientific Research and Education Network in 2015, 2016 and 2017. This also extends to those wishing to explore more deeply the themes of local development, tourism and culture in the Dolomites as well as climate change and its impact on the area. The course will be held from 5th to 19th July at MUSE in Trento.


What is described above represents only part of the work of the Education and Scientific Research Network which is charged with providing educational support and with actually compiling teaching manuals. It also promotes experimental research, always within the educational context, including research into wellbeing and quality of life in the Dolomite areas and communities, in partnership with IRVAPP (Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies) of the Bruno Kessler Foundation. The Fossil Sea Challenge will also be making a come-back, the contest for high schools, which can get involved in small-scale research projects involving experimental science, science and technology or awareness-raising on themes associated with the geology of the Dolomites.