Application to include Mediterranean Alps on UNESCO list France - Monaco - Italy
In a bid to protect the region’s heritage, promote joint action to conserve biodiversity and raise public awareness about the environment and local development, France, Monaco and Italy are jointly submitting an application for the cross-border area known as the “Mediterranean Alps” to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under the natural criterion for geological heritage (VIII). The area, which covers both land and sea, is located at the junction between the western Mediterranean and the Italian peninsula, to the south of the Alpine range, between the Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence departments in south-east France, and the regions of Piedmont and Liguria in north-west Italy.
It includes neighbouring protected natural areas such as the Alpi Marittime/Mercantour European Park and the Alpi Liguri Park, cross-border sites of community importance, the Grande Corniche Departmental Park, two geosites, and a Mediterranean marine environment which encompasses a large portion of the transnational continental margin. The project takes in nearly 80 cross-border municipalities, including 42 in the Alpes-Maritimes, and involves the Principality due to its maritime footprint.
A programme agreement was signed in 2008 between Mercantour National Park, the Alpi Marittime Park, the Monaco Government and the Prince Albert II Foundation. The application follows more than ten years of work, registration on the Tentative List of the three countries involved and multiple reviews by ministerial bodies and agencies of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
It was officially submitted by Italy in January 2018 to the offices of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre Secretariat, after being jointly signed by H.E. Mr Bernard Fautrier, Plenipotentiary Minister to the Minister of State and CEO of the Prince Albert II Foundation, Mr Paolo Salsotto, President of the EGTC European Park Alpi Marittime-Mercantour and Mr Charles Ange Ginésy President of the Alpes-Maritimes Department.
H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince emphasised: “This exceptional area is located on the border of three countries. It combines three cultures and brings together three populations under a shared common objective: protecting this space. It is together that we submit this application to the UNESCO World Heritage List, which will acknowledge all of our efforts to protect the Mediterranean Alps that are so deserving of international recognition.”
The candidacy of the Mediterranean Alps, now in its final phase, is among the 43 applications selected from all of the projects submitted at the international level. It will now be subject to a detailed review by renowned international specialists chosen by the IUCN, who have asked to visit the entire cross-border area. Expert geologists and naturalists specialising in plate tectonics, conservation and management plans will soon arrive to learn more about the eight sites involved. The project partners are mobilising all of their efforts to ensure that this in situ assessment is carried out under the best possible conditions.
Following feedback from this assessment, the final application will be submitted and a definitive response will be given during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 30 June to 10 July 2019.
In supporting this application for the Mediterranean Alps, the Principality continues to pursue and expand its environmental and sustainable development work in this area.
For full details, see: http://www.alpmediterranee.eu/index.php/fr/