The words of President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella on the occasion of National Mountain Day, which was celebrated at the Quirinale on 9 December, were also echoed during the course of the Board of Supporters’ meeting which took place online on 15 December.
Neither embracing the future nor clinging to the past
Speaking during the meeting, UNESCO Dolomites Foundation president Mario Tonina cited a specific passage from the speech given by the President of the Republic: “The future of mountain people, and of the regions in which they live, is linked to their ability to escape the urge to rush headlong into the future on the one hand, and from nostalgia for what once was on the other, to fearlessly keep their sights on building up a present that unites all the resources, even those that have been neglected up to now, from sectors as diverse as agriculture, alternative energy, forest management, and the creation of local production chains. But, alongside all this, we must understand how the path of training and research allows us to think of mountainous areas as places of production in the digital age. This consideration is destined to radically change the methods of accessing innovation and participation processes.” As Mario Tonina commented, this is practically the table of contents from that book that the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and the communities of the Dolomites are trying to write together: from active conservation, to mountains that are inhabited but not abused, to our responsibility for safeguarding the landscape, which implies both the ability to experience it and the need to preserve it.
A rundown on the path taken
Before the debate that involved the participants and, as always, offered a wide range of viewpoints, director Mara Nemela and the staff of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation gave a summary of the principal projects that took place during 2021: from the Geotrail, to the networks of Quality Producers and of Mountain Hut Managers, to training initiatives.
But who are the Supporters?
The Board of Supporters is a statutory body of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation which brings together stakeholders who mean to participate in the cultural path that aims at the enhancement, conservation and communication of the World Heritage site. To become a supporter, it is necessary to comply with the requirements of the regulation, including compliance with the regional parameters and sharing of the Foundation’s purposes. Municipalities, associations, productive categories, artists, photographers, and ordinary citizens: there are many sectors of society represented in the board which currently has almost two hundred members who contribute economic resources or even simply their professionalism and their creativity for stated aims of the Foundation.
Ph. Alberto Perer