30 years working together
Mercantour our twin Park
The year is 1987: Parc national du Mercantour and Parco naturale delle Alpi Marittime sign a twinning agreement to reinforce the collaboration between the two neighbouring protected areas. An important push in this direction came from the successful ibex project, the first joint project. The aim of this project was to encourage a more uniform distribution of ibex over the Marittime-Mercantour massif.
This first positive experience encouraged the two Parks to expand their field of collaboration. So they began to work together on an increasing number of fronts, experimenting integrated management, which lead directly to the creation of a single transboundary protected area: in other words, the first European Park. An ambitious goal for the future, which is getting closer all the time thanks to the Interreg and Alcotra projects.
In almost thirty years of working together, the collaboration based on the strong complementary nature of the natural, scenic, territorial and cultural aspects has overcome linguistic, statutary and legal differences and has been strengthened by finding new objectives.
In 1998, after ten years working together, the two Parks signed a new twinning charter to mark the results obtained so far, the same year they received confirmation of the European Diploma of Protected Areas, an important award granted by the Council of Europe to natural and semi-natural areas of European importance for the preservation of biological, geological and landscape diversity and managed in an exemplary way.
The two Parks work together to promote sustainable tourism, according to the principles of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism underwritten by both protected areas and renewed by Alpi Marittime Nature Park in 2012.