Exploring the Protected Areas in the UNESCO Dolomites World Heritage Site – part five
Exploring the Dolomiti Adamello Brenta Natural Park
“In September 2018 we will be the first Geopark in Italy to host the International Conference on Global Geoparks, organising a busy week of meetings, congresses and activities for about one thousand geologists and experts from other protected areas around the world. At a conference to this kind in Campiglio, the Dolomiti di Brenta will be the undisputed queens”
Joseph Masè, President of the Adamello Brenta Natural Park
Presentation of the Adamello Brenta Natural Park
The Adamello Brenta Natural Park is the largest protected area in Trentino. The difference in height and its varied geological formations, due to the presence of two distinct mountain groups, are the defining features of this protected area and have given us a great variety and wealth of biodiversities. The Trentino part of the awe-inspiring Adamello-Presanella mountain range occupies the western area of the park with its abundance of surface water which, fed by impressive glaciers, gives rise to numerous waterfalls and mountain lakes. To the east lie the Dolomiti di Brenta: a fairy-tale landscape of spires, towers and huge vertical walls which immediately conjure up images of the golden age of mountain climbing in the 19th century.The incomparable landscape heritage is matched by an exceptional wealth of natural elements, the most important of which is the wild fauna. The area is home to all the animal species typically found in the Alps, including large carnivores and in particular the brown bear, the symbol of the Park which was threatened with extinction but today is thriving thanks to the Life Ursus project sponsored by the Park in the 2000s aimed at reintroducing them back into this habitat.
Learn more about System 9 – Dolomiti di Brenta
Interview with the President of the Adamello Brenta Natural Park, Joseph Masé
How has the Park changed since UNESCO inscription in 2009?
One year exactly before the Dolomites where inscribed on the UNESCO list, the Adamello Brenta Natural Park was named a Geopark under the auspices of UNESCO, thanks to its extraordinary geological heritage and the remarkable sustainable development strategy it had adopted. Inscription of the Dolomites as a World Heritage Site in 2009 was therefore further endorsement of the outstanding value of the geology, geomorphology and landscape of this protected area but, more importantly, it underlined the responsibility we have for conserving a property whose loss would have consequences not only on the people who live there but on humanity as a whole.
Why is it important to be part of the Foundation and a Supporter and active member?
Because together we can grow. The Dolomites Property covers five provinces, three regions and ten parks, so the Foundation is a virtuous opportunity for territorial governance as its Supporters and active members draw up a single management model to protect and enhance the 231,169 hectares of extraordinary beauty.
I believe the Foundation is doing a great job at encouraging participation at a grass roots level, heightening awareness in the local communities. While tourists have already realised the appeal of the Dolomites brand, residents still have to fully understand the importance of inscription. To achieve this, the Adamello Brenta Natural Park has already carried out a series of activities to heighten awareness of those who are responsible for spreading information, organising training courses for teachers and environmental educators, educational projects for schools within the Park, informative evenings for residents and tourists, excursions in the summer with geologists, as well as panoramic panels and posters placed along the most important communication routes. We are also considering the feasibility of adding the word “Dolomites” to the name of the Park to create an immediate reference to the UNESCO property.
Within the scope of the UNESCO Dolomites Site, what added value does the Adamello Brenta Natural Park have to offer?
I would say that in addition to the native floral species and the animals which represent the Park, the most important element that Pnab brings to the table is experience. The Pnab has almost 30 years’ experience behind it – it was established by law in 1988 – and its history is one of the longest of the parks in the Dolomites. When I say experience, I mean that of our scientific research, conservation techniques, communication in the sector, international relations and the sustainable development plan for the areas, experience which still makes us open to new ideas.
Parks have always been considered the perfect testing ground for innovative and experimental projects and Pnab has been actively involved in such projects for 30 years, often proving to be ahead of its time. I am talking about projects like the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism which we signed in 2006, taking a leading role in sustainable tourism, the Park Quality logo project where we have worked alongside private businesses for more than 10 years, the Dolomiti di Brenta biking and trekking circular trails which have become a tourist attraction thanks to the collaboration of the tourist boards, and Geopark status, meaning we belong to a global network of parks which meets periodically to exchange ideas and experiences. Over the years these activities have helped us become more organised and knowledgeable on many fronts. In September 2018 we will be the first Geopark in Italy to host the International Conference on Global Geoparks, organising a busy week of meetings, congresses and activities for about one thousand geologists and experts from other protected areas around the world. At a conference to this kind in Campiglio, the Dolomiti di Brenta will be the undisputed queens.