A model for institutional governance: shared and coordinated management approach for the cultural landscape of Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)

UNESCO Site Office
Publicado: 06 Octubre 2020
Última edición: 06 Octubre 2020
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The solution focuses on the recently established shared governance structure that is in place at the World Heritage property of “Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)” which focuses on implementing a management system for the site through the shared and coordinated effort of institutional stakeholders at the local, regional and national levels.

The governance is established through an agreement among the institutionl bodies involved in management which defines the terms of the cooperation, including the creation of committees and working groups for the planning, implementation and monitoring activities of management, conservation and enhancement provided for by the Management Plan.

The agreement also includes a joint plan of action with defined financial implications for all involved stakeholders. The functioning of the activities is guaranteed by the established “UNESCO Office” that acts as main coordinating body for the management of the site.


Europa Occidental y del Sur
Scale of implementation
Buildings and facilities
Connective infrastructure, networks and corridors
Ecosistema urbano
Ecosistemas de pastizales
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Pastizales templados, sabana, matorral
Actores locales
Comunicación y divulgación
Financiación sostenible
Gestión de tierras
Marco legal y normativo
World Heritage
Other theme
cultural landscape management
Falta de acceso a financiación a largo plazo
Falta de conciencia del público y de los responsables de la toma de decisiones
Deficiente gobernanza y participación
Sustainable development goals
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles


Porto Venere, La Spezia, Italy


Since the inscription, the coordination of managing actors was a partial response to difficulties in achieving a shared governance: this structure was not institutionally appropriate, unsustainable and complicated to work with. For this reason, in 2016 a long-term restructuring was undertaken to create a shared model of governance.

  • Management challenges: fragmented and marginal management structure; lack of shared and coordinated planning mechanisms; lack of reciprocal trust among local stakeholders; lack of a specific body acting as reference point for management and communication with all stakeholders; complex framework of thematic laws and provisions for planning.
  • Cultural and social challenges: institutional governance structure dependent on political elections and decisions; changing in local communities (gentrification)
  • Economic challenges: lack of annual financial commitments; unsustainable and discontinued financial scheme; capability in taking funding opportunities.


The beneficiaries of these shared and coordinated governance and management structure are the site itself, the institutions involved in the management and the local communities living and working inside and nearby the site.

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

The solution presents the evolution in governance that has taken place at the World Heritage property of “Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)” over the past two decades; the site has in fact moved from a marginal management strategy to the establishment of a shared governance structure aimed at the implementation of effective management at all levels. Through the signature of the Programme Agreement (2016) and its implementation protocol (2018), the Liguria Region, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism the Cinque Terre National Park, the Regional Natural Park of Porto Venere, and the Municipalities involved have agreed on a shared institutional structure (BB1). This is supported by the establishment of the UNESCO Site Office and the Technical Secretary (BB2) financed by all institutional bodies (BB3), as well as a set of advisory, technical and decision-making bodies: the Coordination Committee, the Community of Buffer Zone Municipalities, the Technical-administrative work group, and the Consulting Committee (BB4).


The main impact of the solution is the establishment of a coordinated and shared strategy for the Property and the proposed Buffer Zone, vital for the work of all institutional bodies, the effective management and conservation of this cultural landscape.

A positive impact in medium term is the adoption of a strategy for sustainable tourism and integrated risk management.

  • Social: this governance structure is a chance to work more efficiently with local communities, stakeholders and commercial/business activities that are directly or indirectly involved with the site. The interaction between nature and man is at the heart of the cultural landscape of “Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)” and the participation of communities in elaborating a shared vision and strategy is a requirement under the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention.
  • Economic: the governance has brought to the adoption of a multiannual financial agreement that foresees the annual identification of defined resources for the work of the UNESCO Office in quality of site manager of the World Heritage site of “Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)”. The governance structure offers a sustainable solution for the long-term sustainability of the office and its work at the site, thanks to the participation of the local authorities.

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Nicoletta Portunato UNESCO Site Office - Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)

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