The landscape is one of the two criteria based upon which the Dolomites have been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: “The Dolomites are widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world” (UNESCO, Declaration of Outstanding Universal Value, criterion VII: to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance).
The Landscape Heritage and Protected Areas Operating Network, working with the University of Udine, has laid down a set of guidelines for the landscape, a knowledge base that is essential for drawing up the Overall Management Strategy.
The analytical work that went into this study has made it possible to identify the necessary tools and to devise a common language to be shared by all the provincial and regional authorities with a hand in running the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site. Given that this is a serial property dotted over a much larger area falling within the boundaries of five Italian provinces of considerable institutional and administrative diversity, the Foundation’s task is no easy one.
The study sets out three main strategic areas of attack: identifying what is common to the whole landscape in terms of features that recur in all Dolomite Systems, creating the tools for cataloguing obsolete structures and harmonising planning and control tools.
The guidelines, adopted by the Foundation’s Steering Committee on 28 August 2014, are accompanied by a series of operational recommendations, among them the introduction of a standardised definition of the Dolomites World Heritage Site to be used, as appropriate, for the planning tools needed. In short, this is another step on the way to establishing the cross-border management requested by UNESCO for a territory whose administration is divided up between the provinces of Belluno, Bolzano, Pordenone, Trento and Udine and the regions Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto.