"Regulatory Tools for the protection and enhancement
of the geological heritage in Italy: a national and regional survey.
From 16 to 20 May 2011, the 3rd Workshop of Geoparks in Italy took place in
Sicily. The annual initiative of the Italian National Forum of Geoparks was
in fact organized and hosted by the two Sicilian Geoparks of the European
Geoparks Network, the Rocca di Cerere Geopark and the Madonie Geopark.
After welcoming the participants in the
territory of the Rocca di Cerere Geopark and in particular at the Train
Museum of civilization and mining in the Villarosa railway station, in two
days of intense conference on 17 and May 18, at the former Convent of the
Reformers in Petralia Sottana, the general topic of the Workshop “Regulatory
tools for the protection and enhancement of the geological heritage in
Italy: a national and regional survey” was discussed.
This subject was discussed, among others, by the Coordinator of Italian
National Forum of Geoparks, Maurizio Burlando, by the Presidents of the
National Council of Geologists, Gian Vito Graziano, and the Regional Order
of Geologists of Sicily, Emanuel Doria, by Luciano Bonci from ISPRA
(Institute for Protection and Environmental Research, Department of
Protection of Geological Heritage), directors and officers of Land and
Environment Department of the Sicily Region. The representatives of all the
Italian Geoparks (in addition to those Sicilians: Beigua Geopark,
Adamello-Brenta Natural Park, Park of Cilento and Valle di Diano, Tuscan
Mining Park, Geological and Mining Park of Sardinia) were of course present.
The agenda also covered other issues regarding the protection of the
geological heritage in the national strategies in relation to the policies
of national and local development; enhancement and management of geological
sites; the LEADER approach (Liasion Entre Actions de Developement de
l'Economie Rural) and actions to support the activities of Geoparks in the
RDP (Rural Development Programme) of Sicily. In summary, the Workshop was
the opportunity for discussion about the growing interest in the concept of
EGN and GGN Geopark under the auspices of UNESCO and to the development
model that it may represent for the european rural areas.
This resulted in interesting ideas and proposals to strengthen policies for
the protection and enhancement of the geological heritage in our country.
The event saw the notable participation of the European Geoparks Network
Coordinator, Nickolas Zouros, who in his speech announced that the Executive
Board of UNESCO on May 16, shared and accepted the report on work done in
these the last ten years by the European Network and each single Geopark on
the themes of geological heritage enhancement and sustainable geotourism.
Essentially, it is desirable that in the short term all territories of the
European Geoparks Network members will be admitted to a specific program and
then recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Nature Park of Apuan Alps has been invited to the Workshop as the only
one Italian territory applicant for the European Geoparks Network in 2011.
For the Park was attended by the President Giuseppe Nardini and a member of
the Board of Directors Giuseppe Ottria, speakers of a communication which
introduced a video on the value of the geological heritage of the Apuan Alps
from the movie "Apuans: mountains of water" by Valter Torri.
With the excursion along the urban geological path of Petralia
Sottana(Madonie Geopark) and the visit to the Floristella Grottacalda Mining
Park (Rocca di Cerere Geopark), ended the 3rd Workshop of Geoparks in Italy
which also saw the participation of representatives of two territories in
the Piedmont Region, Val Grande National Park and Alta Valsesia, who are
planning their applications to the European Geoparks Network.
In relation to the excellent quality of contributions, the Land and
Environment Department of the Sicily Region decided to support the necessary
expenses for the publication of the proceeding volume of the Workshop.