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Posted on: 18th June 2010
EUROPARC Consulting is proud to be so closely associated with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. The Charter and its process have been a resounding success for a decade now. To be a “chartered” protected area is to be part of a journey of development, a continuous quest for successful, sustainable sharing of these magical landscapes.
Almost 80 protected areas in Europe have been awarded the Charter. There is now also part II which has had a brilliant start in 2007. It helps create a close partnership between a protected area and local tourism businesses ... and they proudly display the signs of the partnership (see second photo).
In order to promote the Charter and its aim of sustainable tourism, EUROPARC Consulting carries out every year the evaluation and verification of all the applications for European Charter status. We start in January with an assessment of the application dossier and appoint a trained sustainable-tourism expert who travels to the area in order to verify the protected area’s claims. The resulting thorough report is then submitted to the Charter’s Evaluation Committee in June each year. You can see the Committee in session on one of the photographs here.
After careful consideration, the Committee then awards the Charter (or not) and the successful protected area will receive a certificate at the annual EUROPARC Conference.
This year, EUROPARC Consulting processed 14 applications for evaluation and re-evaluation and presented the reports to the meeting of the Evaluation Committee in La Garrotxa Nature Park in Catalonia. As always, it was a demanding process, but rewarding nevertheless. EUROPARC Consulting is looking forward to seeing the certificates, signed by the President of the EUROPARC Federation, being handed over in Italy later this year. Our congratulations to all protected areas who had the Charter awarded or re-awarded to them.
The third photo shows Josep Maria Prats, a member of the Evaluation Committee, introducing Wilf Fenten of EUROPARC Consulting to some of the most interesting sites in volcanic La Garrotxa.