Managing a Geopark through a Natural Park structure
a case study from the Adamello Brenta UNESCO Global Geopark, Italy
Adamello Brenta Geopark is in the Italian Dolomites. Here the Natural Park authority is the responsible body for the Geopark. It provides the legal framework for the Geopark, sets the strategic direction (with partners), holds the budgets, employs the staff and leads the delivery of the work in pursuit of Geopark objectives.
It might be argued that everything the existing Natural Park management body does, which includes:
- conserving geological, natural and cultural heritage,
- delivering programmes of environmental education and responsible tourism, and
- helping to grow a nature and culture-based economy,
fully supports the objectives of Geoparks. In this sense there should not be ‘Geopark work’ and ‘Natural Park work’ – there is simply work in support of a Management Plan for the whole area, all of which is compatible with Geopark objectives.
Under this model, there is sometimes a Geopark committee or working group with a special focus on more geological heritage matters. In Adamello Brenta it can be argued that in a Natural Park which is also a UNESCO Global Geopark, there would be a greater emphasis on geological heritage than might otherwise be the case.