Shared governance structure

The governance structure has been officially established through the signature of a Programme Agreement by all the institutional stakeholders that operate in various capacities for the management and conservation of the site and its buffer zone: the Liguria Region, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the Cinque Terre National Park, the Municipality of Porto Venere - Regional Natural Park of Porto Venere, and the Municipalities of Levanto (withdrawn in 2019 from the UNESCO office), Monterosso al Mare, Pignone, Riomaggiore, La Spezia, Vernazza, Beverino, Riccò del Golfo.

The Agreement defines the role of stakeholders and establishes the following structure (BB4):

  • Coordination Committee ensuring that effective management is in place
  • Community of buffer zone Municipalities coordinating objectives, problems, and activities relating to the buffer zone
  • Technical-administrative work group responsible for implementing the Management Plan
  • Technical Secretary supporting committees and working groups
  • Consulting Committee (advisory role)
  • UNESCO site office, which acts as site manager for the site and carries out joint site promotion activities and ensures the smooth running of the technical-administrative board.

The establishment of a shared governance structure has been a long journey supported by Regional government and the technical support of the local office of MiBACT. It was possible to achieve this goal by the financial support put in place through the Law 77 of 20 February 2006 as well as the signature of a shared protocol that has allowed for the establishment of means for inclusive and comprehensive conversation between key natural and cultural institutional stakeholders at the national, regional and local level.

The establishment of a shared governance structure with a coordinated management strategy is the result of a complex 20-year experience with irregular developments and commitments. An adequate governance structure requires extensive dialogue, mutual understanding and trust to achieve a wide agreement from all involved institutional stakeholder and the commitment to bring these agreements beyond the timeframe of signatory political administrations.

As Municipalities play a large role in the governance of the site, one of the key challenges for the establishment of a shared strategy has been the changes in political leaderships during regional and municipal elections and the annual alternation of the site manager role between the president of the Cinque Terre National Park and the mayor of the Municipality of Porto Venere. This is to ensure socio-political balance in the governance of the site but the annual change of site management is a limitation for the implementation of long-term strategies and actions.