ECST Task Force

About the Task Force

The European Charter of Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas (ECST) is one of the most successful programs of EUROPARC Federation. It is in fact a program strongly linked to the very image of the Federation. Many of our EUROPARC members are members because of the ECST.

The ECST, awarded for the first time in 2001, was developed originally in 1995 as a LIFE project. It grew up and created many expectations in Protected Areas and, in particular after 2008, within the economic sector – businesses and after 2013 in the tour operators. After 22 years of existence, however, the ECST is at a point where strategic decisions need to be taken by the Federation. While in a few countries the ECST is growing, in many others the ECST is not present at all or members are leaving.

In addition, new labels and certifications, either national or international (Biosphere, Natura 2000, Marque Parc, green destinations, etc.) have appeared and are creating strong concurrence with the ECST; this is especially true for French parks and their Marque Parc.

A first diagnosis and proposals about the current needs have been already expressed by many ECST stakeholders on repeated occasions.

Therefore, given the current context, a working group should be formed in order to work on all these aspects. One of the first actions should be the analysis of the proposals already existing and the prioritization of the actions to be taken by the Federation as the promotor and main responsible for the ECST programme.

The outcome sought is that by 2030 Sustainable Tourism is thriving as a result of new strategies, guidance, and processes developed and implemented through the Charter of Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.

Members of the commission

  • Paulo Castro – Chairman
  • Nele Sober – Sustainable tourism focal point in Nord Baltic Section
  • Fátima Rodrigues – ADRIMAG – Portugal
  • Phil Holden – Shropshire Hills AONB
  • Carmen Cabrera – Parque natural de Sierra Nevada
  • Fabrizio Santini – Parco Nazionale delle Colline Metallifere
  • Teresa Pastor – EUROPARC Directorate representative