EUROPARC brings Protected Areas managers, tourism experts and local businesses from all over Europe to Brussels - to share good practices on tourism management, brainstorm for innovative ideas and strategies, and to honour sustainable tourism achievements across Protected Areas in Europe. Celebrating 40 Years working for nature at the heart of the EU institutions, this year brings a brighter light to the Charter for Sustainable Tourism Awards.
To celebrate its 40 years Working for Nature, EUROPARC Federation and MEP Gaston Franco are hosting the Award Ceremony of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. The one-day event will include the 8th European Charter Network Meeting in the morning with workshops and plenary sessions at the Marche Representation, followed by the 2013 Charter Award Ceremony in the afternoon at the European Parliament.
More than 70 participants, from 12 countries will be present, among which 19 protected areas will be awarded.
A high level panel will contribute to inspire the audience and to animate the discussions with good practices examples and recent policy updates. Among them: Gaston Franco, Member of the European Parliament – Rapporteur for the 7th Environmental Action Programme of the EU; Stefan Leiner European Commission, Head of the Nature Unit; Francesca Tudini, European Commission, Head of the Tourism Policy Development Unit; the EUROPARC’s President Mr. Thomas Hansson; Maura Malaspina, Minister for the Environment and Agriculture, Marche Region; Alfredo Fermanelli, Head of protected areas and N2000 Unit, Marche Region.
The Charter Network Meeting will be a great occasion to gather the like-minded tourism experts, present the recent updates on the management of the Charter for Sustainable tourism across the EUROPARC network and to further raise the voice of protected areas at the highest European political level.
The Charter has proved to be an effective tool to assist protected areas with the development and implementation of sustainable tourism strategies in their regions, with benefits for nature, for people and local communities. The EUROPARC Federation began developing the Charter in the 1990s through a LIFE project, and today 119 areas are following the principles of the Charter in conducting their tourism activities.