Charter Award Ceremony 2015

Charter Award Ceremony © 2015 Mauro Casalboni

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On the 7th of December, at the European Parliament in Brussels, EUROPARC and the European Protected Areas celebrated another year of success of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.

Kindly hosted by MEP Igor Šoltes (Greens/EFA Group) and MEP Therese Comodini Cachia (EPP Group), members of the Intergroup on European Tourism Development, the Charter Award Ceremony 2015 has been a precious opportunity to share ideas and experiences, proving once more that the Charter is a very useful instrument of dialogue and governance to reconcile conservation and development.

Ignace Schops, EUROPARC president, opened the ceremony. The MEP Igor Šoltes welcomed the participants and illustrated the strong commitment of EP Intergroup and its initiatives and publications on sustainable tourism. The MEP Therese Comodini Cachia, who unfortunately could not attend, in her video message stressed the importance of the involvement of local stakeholders and tourist to reach sustainability and expressed the hope that Malta parks will join the Charter network. Then, Mrs Stefania Petrosillo, in charge of the Ceremony 2015, presented the new structure of the Charter, recently updated in order to capitalize the experiences after almost 20 years and respond to the challenges of the future.

Three stories about Charter were illustrated by the guest speakers: the cooperation between Charter parks of the North Portugal, by Vitor Sousa,from association Parques com Vida; the MEET project that is realizing a catalogue of tourism packages in Mediterranean protected areas based on the Charter, by Filippo Belisario, from Riserva Regionale Monte Rufeno/Regione Lazio; and the challenge of the Charter in a  fragile and over exploited territory as Cinque Terre in Italy, by Vittorio Alessandro, Cinque Terre National Park president.

In addition, Federico Minozzi, EUROPARC managing director, explained the engagement of the federation in the dialogue with the European institutions and its important results.

But, of course, not the speakers but the awarded Parks were the key actors of the ceremony: all protected areas representatives declared the importance, for the parks and for its surrounding areas, of having achieved the Charter recognition and of being part of this network. And EUROPARC gladly welcome them to the Charter Family!

Finally, Ignace Schops closed this emotional day underlining the crucial role that protected areas play in Europe and the excellent work the Charter areas are doing!

You can download the presentations on the box below, and download the pictures here.

Message from MEP Therese Comodini Cachia (EPP Group)

The new awarded and re-awarded Protected Areas 2015 are:

  • Parc naturel regional de Briere (FR)
  • Parque Nacional Maritimo Terrestre de las Islas Atlanticas de Galicia (ES)
  • Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi (IT)
  • Matsalu National Park and its surrounding area (EE)
  • Parco Nazionale Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona e Campigna (IT)
  • Parque Natural de los Valles Occidentales (ES)
  • Parc naturel regional du Luberon (FR)
  • Parque Nacional Peneda Gerês (PT)
  • Parque Natural do Alvão (PT)
  • Rede de Espaços de Excelência Ambiental do Alto Minho (PT)
  • Parco Nazionale Paneveggio Pale S. Martino  (IT)
  • Parque Natural Fuentes Carrionas y Fuente Cobre-Montaña Palentina  (ES)
  • Parco Nazionale e Area Marina Protetta delle Cinque Terre (IT)
  • Kornati National Park (HR)
  • Parque Natural de Posets-Maladeta (ES)
  • Parque Natural do Douro Internacional (PT)
  • Parque Natural de Montesinho (PT)
  • Parc naturel régional des Volcans d’Auvergne (FR) Re-awarded
  • Parc naturel régional du Pilat (FR) Re-awarded

If you did not have the chance to participate, you can watch the complete ceremony film below.