Federparchi – Europarc Italy
the “Italian Federation of Parks and Nature Reserves” (http://www.federparchi.it) joins over 160 bodies managing national and regional parks, marine PAs, regional and state nature reserves. Founded in 1989, it is a member of the IUCN and Secretariat of the Italian IUCN Committee. Since June 2008, Federparchi has also been the Italian representative in the Europarc Federation.
Federparchi represents the Italian PAs before the State, Regions, Local Authorities, European Union, and any other public or private body interested in the aims of the association.
Since its foundation, Federparchi has worked hard for the enforcement of the national parks system and pays particular attention to integration and coordination policies – from the largest national park to the smallest local reserve – in the name of a fair collaboration among the various levels of territorial government.
The creation of a country-wide ecological network (aimed at integrating PAs in the territorial planning) is one of Federparchi’s main goals, together with a “National Fund for Biodiversity”, which has recently been established.
Concerning ecotourism, the main field of activity is the dissemination of the “European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas - ECST” (www.european-charter.org), which is a certification process (managed by Europarc Federation) of the tourism management system of a park.
The main aim of the ECST is to improve nature conservation and sustainable development through the management of tourism in PAs, taking into account the needs of the environment, local residents, local businesses and visitors. The approach is based on “participation”, i.e. all the concerned stakeholders are invited to take part in the planning process and to cooperate with the park authority in the action plan implementation, following 10 principles on sustainability, responsibility and accountability.
As of November 2013, there were more than 130 European parks that earned ECST certification, of which 30 are in Italy.