The Protected Areas in the UNESCO Dolomites World Heritage Site – part three
Exploring the Bletterbach Geoparc
“We also have the job of raising awareness among the local community of what it means to be a UNESCO WHS, and of encouraging a feeling of pride in this global recognition”
Peter Daldos, President of the Bletterbach Geoparc
Brief presentation of the Bletterbach Geoparc
In view of the great geological significance of the Bletterbach system, the Municipality of Aldino created the Bletterbach Geoparc that stretches from Aldino to the Redagno district, a geological park within a natural monument. The Geoparc is equipped for educational activities and hiking during which it is possible to come into direct contact with the process that formed the Earth and the Dolomites in particular, leading to the evolution of life. A geological trail has been created in the Geoparc, taking visitors right to the heart of the canyon, and there is a woodland trail that is also negotiable in a wheelchair or with a pushchair. Along both trails are panels providing information about the geological history and the flora and fauna of the Bletterbach. Next to the park is the Monte Corno Nature Park that extends for some 6,800 hectares in the municipalities of Anterivo, Egna, Montagna, Salorno and Trodena.
Learn more about the Bletterbach, system 8
Interview with the President of the Bletterbach Geoparc Peter Daldos
How has the park changed since UNESCO inscription in 2009?
Even though this is the smallest area in the whole of the UNESCO Dolomite system, the Bletterbach GEOPARC played a vital role in obtaining the World Heritage Site designation because the Bletterbach displays to perfection the situation over those 40 million years preceding the birth of the Dolomites. UNESCO listing has created an increase in international visitors whose native language is neither Italian nor German and so our guides and partners have had to learn English. UNESCO listing has also led the GEOPARC management team to make an even greater commitment to safeguarding that environment and the unique features of the park, keeping the impact of visitor flows to the minimum and ensuring accessibility by new forms of public transport which did not exist before.
Why is it important to be part of the Foundation and a Supporter and active member?
The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation plays a fundamental role in the coordinated management of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are members through the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Südtirol and our municipality of Aldino is part of the Board of Supporters. We play an important part in maintaining two-way communication between the peripheral areas and the centre. We also have the job of raising awareness among the local community of what it means to be a UNESCO WHS, and of encouraging a feeling of pride in this global recognition.
Within the scope of the UNESCO Dolomites Site, what added value does the Bletterbach Geoparc have to offer?
The Bletterbach GEOPARC is quite unique in that it displays 40 million years of the history of Planet Earth preserved in their original form. Both criterion VII (aesthetic importance and landscape) and, above all, criterion VIII (geological/geomorphic) apply to the Bletterbach GEOPARC. The borderline between the Permian and the Triassic eras is perfectly preserved and accessible. Unique fossils and the imprint of terrestrial and marine life of global scientific importance are found in the canyon. The scientific coordination of our site is in the hands of the scientists of the Trento Science Museum MUSE and the Alto Adige Natural Science Museum.
Photo credit: Geoparc Bletterbach