Not the usual suspects: LIFE programme, Charter for Sustainable Tourism and Lands of Priolo

Priolo © SPEA

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The European Commission launched a new publication entitled “LIFE and new partnerships for nature“, about how conservation projects succeed by targeting unexpected audiences. One of the examples comes from our European Charter Network : Lands of Priolo, Sao Miguel – Azores, Portugal (page 68).

Lands of Priolo (or Terras do Priolo) aimed at protecting an endemic and highly threatened species: the Azores bullfinch or Priolo. In order to involve all relevant actors for the protection of this species’ habitat, a Sustainable Tourism Strategy was developed,  following the principles of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. Local authorities, businesses, tour operators, NGOs and representatives from both the tourism industry and nature conservation, participated in the Stakeholders Forum and developed together a 5 years strategy for the territory. 

European Charter for sustainable tourism © EUROPARC Federation

European Charter for sustainable tourism © EUROPARC Federation

Engaging local stakeholders is one of the 5 principles and main requirements of the Charter. The strategy’s long-term success relies on the shared vision of the territory by its actors, therefore, an effective and inclusive consultation is essential.

One of the main achievements of Lands of Priolo, was the creation of a brand, a quality seal for companies who establish partnerships with São Miguel Natural Park, to promote conservation and sustainable tourism. The “Priolo Brand” encourages the adoption of environmentally-friendly practices, represents the exclusivity of the region and works as a promotion tool for the tour operators . Within the first year, 19 enterprises committed to have environmental-friendly practices and the network is still growing. The Sustainable Tourism Strategy was awarded by the EUROPARC Federation in 2012.

Important links:

Document LIFE and new partnerships for nature

Lands of Priolo environmental center

Brochure European Charter for Sustainable Tourism