2023 will be a very important year for verifying the state of health of the Dolomites World Heritage Site. In fact, work has already begun on the process of self-assessment and reporting on the conservation and management of the Site, which will lead to the drafting of the Periodic Report required by the World Heritage Convention.
Ph. Moreno Geremetta
Conservation and management under scrutiny
This will be the second Report for the Dolomites Site since it was added to the World Heritage list in 2009. The first Report was issued in 2014, and a new cycle of evaluation involving the UNESCO sites of Europe and North America has begun. The aim of the procedure is to monitor global conservation based on a self-assessment process at the national and local levels. The first part will actually be compiled by national and consulting agencies, and the second part by the organisations that manage the sites – in the case of the Dolomites, this would be the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation. In a nutshell, this is the sort of check-up that will help us gain an understanding of the state of the Site and improve the orientation of our management policies.
In addition to the state of environmental conservation, the specific aspects that will be monitored and analysed in order to evaluate the factors influencing the integrity of the Site include the adequacy of the financial and human resources earmarked for management, the functionality of the governance both from the legal point of view and from the perspective of participating interested parties, the synergies activated, the influence of recognition on environmental sustainability, and the inclusiveness of both social and economic development. Compared to the previous monitoring cycle, even more emphasis has been placed on the theme of sustainable development, resulting in an important opportunity for focusing on the most sensitive and, at the same time, crucial issue for the Dolomites, specifically, the relationship between the active conservation of the World Heritage Site and the lives of the people who inhabit the valleys.
What will we do?
The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation will take the information and data that have already been collected by the Operating Networks and the technical and scientific agencies of the provinces and regions affected by the recognition and translate everything into a single document. In fact, the Dolomites World Heritage Site extends over a vast region distributed among Local Authorities that already apply their own systems for monitoring and protecting the environment; the task of the Foundation is to monitor and interpret the data as a whole in relation to the World Heritage Site.