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"Marittime-Mercantour": Cross-border bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site

November 2013

"Marittime-Mercantour": Cross-border bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The bid by the French-Italian cross-border area “Marittime-Mercantour” to be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List was officially submitted on 18 November 2013 in Breil-sur-Roya (France).

The six French and Italian partners made this application jointly. Alongside the Parc National du Mercantour, the other partners comprised the Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime, the Parco Alpi Liguri, the Parco du Marguareis, the Province of Imperia and the protected space of the Hanbury Botanical Garden.

An area of 200,000 hectares could therefore be protected by this global recognition which would make it possible to “further promote the protection of the cross-border ecosystem”. UNESCO will make a decision over the next two years. This project is one of the very few cross-border bids and will be carried through in particular by the European natural park joint management structure that was set up on 23 May 2013 as a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation.

It may be noted that the MOT provided technical assistance for the operational establishment of this EGTC that brings together the Parc National du Mercantour and the Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime. Besides the cross-border bid to UNESCO, this first EGTC involving two European natural parks makes it possible to jointly manage the protected area and to carry out integrated projects: for example, the restoration of the Larche-Maddalena Pass and joint implementation of the European charter on sustainable tourism, etc.

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