The European Diploma is considered the environmental Oscar, it was awarded to Parco naturale Alpi Marittime (Parco dell’Argentera in those days) and Parc National du Mercantour in 1993, the first frontier parks to propose joint candidature.
This prestigious international certification was created in 1965 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to award Parks, Reserves and natural sites which have notable cultural, aesthetic and scientific features and show that they have put in place appropriate protection for the conservation of biodiversity and their landscape. The Diploma encourages and rewards effective management of our natural heritage which is of exceptional European interest. It is assigned for a limited number of years, following an evaluation by experts who consider all the aspects of the area in question, it is renewable after a further evaluation if the outcome is positive: it is always subordinate to a series of conditions and recommendations, which serve to stimulate a more efficient form of management. In one case a protected area under serious threat had its Diploma withdrawn, causing the impacting project to be abandoned.
Since their first award Marittime and Mercantour Parks have always had their Diploma reconfirmed punctually every time it has expired. The advantages of this award do not stop at prestige and image. It is also a title of merit or priority when applying for European Projects.