European Park Marittime-Mercantour: how long term transboundary conservation can lead to a juridical common management structure

European Park Marittime-Mercantour
Published: 22 November 2016
Last edited: 17 July 2019
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Summary

Starting from their territorial contiguity, the common natural and cultural heritage, the two parks have created a unique protected area of about 1000 km² across the F/I border. A long partnership process, at first generated by the need of common wildlife management, lead then to sustainable development and common visual identity. Thanks to more and more integrated projects, they developed a shared vision, and have finally created a common juridical structure following a new EU regulation: EGTC.

Classifications

Region
West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Multi-national
Ecosystem
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Theme
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Protected area governance
Protected area management planning
Sustainable financing
Tourism
Challenges
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor governance and participation

Location

Alpi Marittime, France | Italy
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Impacts

Environment: common management of existing ibex population, reintroduction of bearded vulture, common monitoring of the wolf natural re-colonization. Transboundary scientific research, such as the All Taxa Biological Inventory ATBI. Sustainable development: trail network, common signposting system, sustainable tourism (the parks signed jointly the EUROPARC European Charter for Sustainable Tourism and presented a common strategy and action plan for the whole transboundary area). Financing: Marittime-Mercantour Integrated Transboundary Plan (ITP), 10 million EUR thanks to Interreg ALCOTRA European Programme. This consists in 6 integrated thematic projects: scientific research and nature conservation, cultural identity, territorial management, eco-tourism, soft mobility and environmental education. This Plan has also stimulated the local community involvement. Governance: on May 2013 the EGTC Marittime/Mercantour was officially established, giving birth to the first European Park and producing new ambitious goals such as the inclusion in the UNESCO WH List. This idea now involves other five Italian protected areas, creating a continuous stretch comprising all the ecological successions from the highest mountain to the Mediterranean sea. Included in 2013 in both Italian and French UNESCO’s Tentative Lists as a transboundary natural property with the name of “the Alps of the sea”.

Contributed by

Patrizia Rossi private