Transboundary Parks Award 2019 – Binntal Veglia Devero Transboundary Nature Park
The EUROPARC’s Transboundary Parks Programme aims to promote and facilitate transboundary cooperation between European Protected Areas. Since 2003 when the Basic Standards evaluation system was launched, 23 European Protected Areas have been successfully certified as 10 Transboundary Parks. Every year during EUROPARC Conference we celebrate success with our Transboundary Parks at the Award Ceremony.
In 2018 the Awards goes to…
BINNTAL VEGLIA DEVERO TRANSBOUNDARY NATURE PARK
The Binntal Veglia Devero Transboundary Nature Park embraces the following Protected Areas:
- Parco Naturale Veglia Devero / Protected Areas of Ossola (Italy)
- Landschaftspark Binntal (Switzerland)
Free animals and men who don’t know borders
Covering a border region in the Alps in Valais and Piemont, the cross border park shows the rich natural and cultural heritage of the area dominated by rocks and glaciers, mountains reaching 3.500 meters high, pastures, and peat bogs.
The green Alpine meadows grazed by cows on both sides of the border, are not just a characteristic postcard image of this area, but also one of the reasons for high biodiversity. Additionally, dairy farming and production of high quality alpine cheese, in combination with tourism, plays a key role in the regional economic development.
Men from Lepontine Alps walk together, study together, protect and celebrate together. Without borders.
Although the common transboundary politics on nature management formally started in 2013, the parks have been cooperating even before. “Men from Lepontine Alps walk together, study together, protect and celebrate together. Without borders,” explains the Directorate of Protected Areas of Ossola.
The Transboundary Park certification is the recognition of the politics for a regional and sustainable development, which protects nature, promotes cooperation and international peace.
Chamois and ibex, wild animals of the Alps, move freely from one side to the other.
In these years, when the Alps are suffering from climate changes, the transboundary cooperation allowed a better management of the alpine biodiversity throughout common monitoring actions and a continuous exchange of scientific information and management experiences.
Promoting sustainable business and tourism
The main goal of this transboundary cooperation is to maintain and develop the quality of the natural landscapes, and to promote sustainable business and tourism, and foster environmental education. Tourists are attracted by the Park’s perfect environment for alpine walking, snowshoe walking, or cross country skiing on trails. The core zones of the sparsely populated Park are still relatively quiet, since car access to the Alps is only allowed to residents.
The parks currently work on training for guides, who are able to operate on both alpine sides. As the two parks are located in relatively remote areas and no easy access from cities, a special emphasis is put on their promotion, mainly through initiatives in urban areas.
For example, the event “Parks in the city” is held in Italy and Switzerland alternately every year. “Autumn street market” in Switzerland and “Mele&Miele” in Italy are events focusing on cultural development, while transboundary walking tours such as “Arbola walk” through alpine gaps or “Pastures and cheese” are organised to support the development of mountain agriculture.