“Mercantour and Alpi Marittime, the scenarios of A Sustainable Journey”

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Mercantour and Alpi Maritimme – the scenarios of “A Sustainable Journey”.

It is well known that protected areas host some of the most stunning landscapes and natural values on earth because often these values are the cornerstones for its designation. That’s why it is not surprising that since the beginning of the cinematographic industry, parks have been the perfect scenery for the production of movies all over the world.

Yet, there is more than beautiful sights inside protected areas. Parks are also places where local communities co-exist with nature and we, as curious human beings, like to explore and experience their culture and delicacies, valuing their authenticity.

However, our visits can also create negative impacts on these communities and on the natural values that surround them, so it is important that we all learn how to make wiser decisions when traveling in order to guarantee the subsistence of the places and people we visit.

Promoting Sustainability with real examples from the Charter

At EUROPARC Federation, we chose this element as the leitmotif for the production of the recently awarded film “A Sustainable Journey”. This film was created as a communication tool within the project CEETO Interreg Central Europe with a single objective in mind: to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable tourism among travelers and local communities.

Snapshot of the movie, in Alpi Marittime

For its production, it was paramount to choose destinations adhered to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, in which examples of sustainable development could be found and, at the same time, counted with locations and landscapes that would inspire the viewers and encourage them to reinforce their connection with nature. And those were the foremost reasons why we chose the Mercantour National Park in France and the Alpi Marittime Natural Park in Italy were selected as the scenarios for the production of “A Sustainable Journey”.

Mercantour National Park and Alpi Marittime Natural Park

On one hand, located in the south of France close from the French Riviera at the crossroads of multiple climatic, geological and altitudinal influences, the Mercantour National Park is home to an exceptional diversity of natural resources. This variety of landscapes, environments, and species have created a jewel of preserved nature, a land of resources for the men and women who live and work there. The Mercantour has struck a right balance between wilderness and human activity with the creation of the National Park in 1979. The Park is organised around a central area called the heart of the Park, protected and regulated, and by an area of partnership with the municipalities, in a constant concern for harmony between protection, knowledge and sustainable development.

Parc national du Mercantour

Right at the other side of the border, in Italy, the mountains of the Alpi Marittime Natural Park raise until 3297m, the altitude of its highest peak Mont Argentera. Surrounded by very steep slopes, villages like Valdieri, Entracque, and Vernante host a small community of entrepreneurs that provide different services to the visitors, from outdoor sports to handcrafted cheese and beer. Many of these businesses are also certified sustainable businesses, adhered to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas and that develop their activity following procedures that are respectful with nature conservation at the same time they support the socio-economic development of their own community. Likewise, both the Mercantour National Park and Alpi Marittime Natural Park have been adhered to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas since 1999.

Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime

A Sustainable Journey

“A Sustainable Journey” portrays the story of a traveler seeking to escape the pressures of everyday life to a different kind of tourism that is good for nature and good for him too, and invites others to make a similar holiday choice. During the film, the traveler explores a different aspect of the area on foot and bicycle, experiences heritage and culture, natural places – wild and less wild – and local villages, shopping and partaking in local food and drink. Realising that he, through his choices can affect the local environment, culture, and economy. As a guest to these protected areas, he sees too that, these special places, are also places where people live, work, respect and look after.

The film was recently awarded the Terres de l´Ebre Award – Best movie promoting sustainability at Terres Travel Festival – Films & Creativity among more than a hundred audiovisual productions from 24 different countries. You can get further information by visiting “A Sustainable Journey – the Film” webpage at CEETO website, or watch the whole movie below:

Apart from English, the movie is available in French, GermanItalian and Spanish language.

For related news, visit Mercantour National Park page!