19 Sustainable Destinations awarded in Brussels – Charter Award Ceremony 2016

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Charter Award Ceremony 2016

Photos of the Award Ceremony at the European Parliament here 

Photos of the Side event at the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the EU here.

Downloand the presentations below.

On the 7th December 2016, 19 Sustainable Destinations were awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. Among them, 11 have committed for the first time to the principles of the Charter and 8 have renewed their commitment. The Charter Network, which has been growing over the past 20 years, counts now 157 Sustainable Destinations in 19 European countries.

To celebrate the work of Protected Areas and their engagement in sustainable tourism management, EUROPARC Federation with the kind support of MEP Ramon Tremosa i Balcells who hosted the event in the European Parliament, organised the Charter Award Ceremony for the year 2016.


Nicola Notaro, Head of the Nature Unit, DG Environment – European Commission


MEP Ramon Tremosa i Balcells

During the ceremony, the benefits that sustainable tourism strategies provide for people, environment and local economy within Protected Areas were highlighted by MEP Ramon Tremosa i Balcells and Nicola Notaro – Head of the Nature Unit, DG Environment – European Commission.

The EUROPARC Federation was delighted to welcome for the first time two Parks from Greece and award the first Transboundary Region – the Julian Alps Ecoregion, that encompasses Triglav National Park in Slovenia and Prealpi Giulie Nature Park in Italy.

Stefano Santi, Director of Prealpi Giulie Nature Park (Italy) acknowledged, “the Charter is a flagship for the whole Transboundary Region. It expresses a genuine European spirit of respect for nature and brotherhood among people of different countries and represents an extraordinary chance to promote the breath-taking world of the Julian Alps and its unique biodiversity and cultural heritage”.
charter award ceremony 2016


Transboundary Ecoregion Julian Alps being awarded at the Charter Award Ceremony 2016

Developing sustainable tourism in partnership

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas is a practical management tool that enables Protected Areas to develop tourism sustainably, by working together with all local relevant stakeholders. The core element of the Charter is partnerships established to develop a common sustainable tourism strategy and action plan for the territory, over a period of five years.

charter award ceremony 2016

The Broads National Park (United Kingdom), who was awarded for the 3rd time, recognises that “the Charter gives us a brilliant framework for our work with the tourism business community and the award is a tribute to this partnership – a clear demonstration that nature is the winner when we all work together.”

Working actively with local businesses and tour operators will be the next step for the Sustainable Destinations awarded today.

charter award ceremony 2016

Parks awarded today

Parks awarded for the 1st time


1.     National Park of Tzoumerka, Peristeri and Arachthos Gorge

2.     Chelmos Vouraikos National Park & Unesco Global Geopark


1.     Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano

2.     Parco Nazionale del Cilento Vallo di Diano ed Alburni

3.     Ente di Gestione delle Aree Protette del Monviso

4.     Area Marina Protetta e Riserva Naturale dello Stato di Torre Guaceto

5.     Riserva Naturale Statale Gola del Furlo


1.     Transboundary Ecoregion Julian Alps (Prealpi Giulie NPTriglav NP)


1.    Terras do Lince


1.     Parc Natural del Montgrí, les Illes Medes i el Baix Ter

2.     Parc Natural de Montsant

Parks re-awarded


1.     Parc naturel régional des Alpilles

2.     Syndicat mixte du Parc naturel régional Livradois-Forez

3.     Parc naturel régional du Vercors



1.     Parque Nacional de Cabañeros

2.     Parque Natural Montseny

3.     Parque Natural de Sant Llorenç del Munt i L’Obac

4.     Parc Natural de la Zona Volcànica de la Garrotxa


United Kingdom

1.     The Broads National Park


Charter Award Ceremony 2016, check the photo album here


Following the Charter Award Ceremony at the European Parliament, the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the EU welcomed all the participants and speakers for a special side event. The event focused on how the Catalonia region has been embracing the Charter for over 20 years and using it as a tool that brings nature and social benefits.

The Ceremony was officially open with a promotional film about the Catalonia Region:

In a region where 33% of land is protected, the Charter has been a valuable tool to bring together the main actors on the field on Nature and Tourism. Indeed, Catalonia has been very successful engaging all institutions in the development of their Sustainable Destinations – from government authorities to tourism organisations and Parks.  During the event, representatives from the Government of Catalonia, the Catalan Tourist Board, the Diputació de Girona and the Costa Brava Girona Tourism Board shared their perspectives and spoke about their engagement with Sustainable Tourism.


Josep Maria Prats, who was one of the main promoters of the Charter in Catalonia, especially in the La Garrocha Volcanic Zone Natural Park, made a presentation about “Tourism in natural parks accredited with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas and the relationship with tourist organisations – the case study from the Zona Volcanica de la Garrotxa Nature Park.”

For more information please contact the EUROPARC Federation to info @ europeancharter.org.