The Vanoise National Park and Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso

Countries: Italy , France
Regions concerned: Piemonte, Valle d’Aosta (Italy); Savoie (France)


The Vanoise National Park and the Gran Paradiso National Park are the oldest national parks of France and Italy respectively, and together they constitute the largest protected natural area in the western Alps, accumulating 125,000 ha of preserved areas.

With the intention of one day forming a single European cross-border park, their cooperation activities are increasingly developed and substantial in their movement towards a common aim of sustainable development and protection of biodiversity.

With a Council of Europe resolution on 17 October 2011, the two parks were jointly awarded with a renewal of the European Diploma of Protected Areas for their two territories.

The cooperation got initiated in 1972 because of the necessity of protecting the endangered animal species of the “Alpine Ibex”. Since then, the cooperation has been steadily strengthening, in particular with the support of the Interreg VA project “Lemed-Ibex”. This project aiming to protect the species that symbolises the Alpine territory promotes the exchange of good practices and the involvement of socio-professional actors and local authorities.

Photo copyright: Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso