Keeping parks moving

The Parks of the Dolomites’ commitment to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism continues. This journey has been undertaken in recent years, for example, by the Belluno Dolomites National Park, the Adamello Brenta Natural Park and the San Martino Paneveggio-Pale Natural Park. In the last few weeks, the two parks in Trentino have approved their “Action Plan”.

Dolomiti di Brenta

Ph. Stefania Tais

ECST: what it is and how you get it

The ECST, the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, promoted in Italy by Federparchi, is a tool that aims to support protected areas in the difficult-to-manage issue of sustainable tourism, by promoting shared governance, which allows dialogue between all the parties involved, whether institutions or representatives of the social and economic fabric. It is awarded by the Europarc Federation, tasked with verifying that the shared processes are actually implemented, through shared action plans. As was the case during the process that led to the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation’s Overall Management Strategy, good sustainability practices can be achieved only through good participation practices.

Final steps for Trentino parks

On 30 November 2022, in Tione, the new Action Plan and the 2023-2027 Strategy for the Adamello Brenta Natural Park were approved to renew the ECST. The leading proponents are: the sustainable development service and protected areas of the autonomous Province of Trento, the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation, the Sarca Fluvial Park, Trentino Marketing, the Paneveggio Pale di San Martino Natural Park and the Stelvio-Trentino National Park, local councils, local council family departments, tourist boards, libraries within the boundaries of the Park, Dolomiti Open and Anfass onlus.

This list already says a lot about the network implemented over the last twenty years, since the start of the certification application process. After the first two stages, that ensured certification of the protected areas themselves and accommodation facilities, now sights are set on the third stage: certifying tour operators, starting with the tourist boards in Trentino (for which a working group has been set up, coordinated by the Trentino School of Management).

The following day, at San Martino di Castrozza, there was also an ECST Forum meeting to present and validate the Strategy and Action Plan finalised at the candidacy of the Paneveggio Pale di San Martino Natural Park. There was also an opportunity to present the planning sheets drawn up by the various parties during the participation process that began last May. The Park had already begun the process in 2015 and is now renewing its commitment to engage the area in a sustainable vision of the tourist offering.

“Central themes for the younger generations”

“These are the real themes to work on, as the ‘General States of the Mountains’ also showed, setting as priorities those themes linked to the environment, the land and the countryside”, said vice-president of the Trento Autonomous Province Mario Tonina in San Martino di Castrozza. He had completed his mandate as President of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation only a few days before. “They are important, fundamental aspects for the younger generations who are showing a new sensitivity to environmental topics and, in particular, climate change.”