Administrators from all provinces together for the future of the Dolomites

On Saturday 25 November, Primiero San Martino di Castrozza hosted the second course for local administrators of the municipalities, mountain unions, and valley communities affected by the UNESCO status and involved in managing the Property.

Corso Amministratori delle Dolomiti Patrimonio Mondiale in Primiero

The course was organised by the Education and Scientific Research Network of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and held in the hall of the Community of Primiero, in cooperation with the Paneveggio – Pale di San Martino Natural Park and the local tourist board. Administrators and technical personnel from the various local bodies of Trentino, South Tyrol, Veneto and Friuli had an opportunity to further their knowledge of the values that enabled UNESCO status, sharing individual administrative experiences and together outlining future scenarios in the light of the climate crisis and the various adaptation strategies.

Knowledge, awareness and responsibility

The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation had the role of describing to administrators the complexity of a Serial Site that extends over many different areas and that, consequently, demands the essential contribution of local administrations: “The World Heritage Site belongs first and foremost to those who live there and manage it” stated Director Mara Nemela “caring for the future of the Dolomites means focusing on themes such as land use, mobility, management of flows and adaptation to the climate crisis”.

The General Secretary of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO, Enrico Vicenti was present, and focused his presentation on the responsibilities connected with UNESCO status: “This course offers best practices that we will also adopt nationally. Without the Mayors and their administrations it is impossible to achieve the goals of the UNESCO Convention. The Dolomites Site is, in this sense, unique because it involves more than eighty municipalities.”

“Those who manage the Site from a technical perspective and those who handle local policy must cooperate” added Carlo Francini, Scientific Coordinator of the Italian World Heritage Sites Association, “it is necessary to integrate the status values and the goals of the 2030 Agenda with the tools available to administrations.”

Geologist from the University of Ferrara and member of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation Scientific Committee, Piero Gianolla, turned to future challenges, highlighting the severity of the current climate crisis, which is developing exponentially faster than the events of the geological history of the Dolomites. He also underlined the role of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and local administrations in tackling future issues.

Climate crisis: how to prepare for future scenarios

The second day was dedicated to broad discussions on the climate crisis and new challenges for managing the Dolomites, which suffer the effects of global heating causing the melting of glaciers, collapse of permafrost, hydrogeological instability, and bark beetle attacks, but which also serve as a laboratory for adaptation approaches, with important choices to be made by administrations, including those in the valleys. The course offered an important opportunity to analyse the factors of change and the actions required in order to manage change responsibly and with the involvement of the respective local communities.

This activity is part of the project “Capacity building. Strengthening the social and regional capital of the Dolomites World Heritage Site (WHS) for lasting and sustainable development of local communities”, established with the support of Fondo Comuni Confinanti.