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Gran Paradiso National Park
Parco Nazionale Del Gran Paradiso

italy

First Listed

2014

Area
710.44km2

Pilot Site

This site is undergoing the renewal of its IUCN Green List Certification

Why is it Green Listed?

Gran Paradiso National Park was added to the Green List during the Pilot Phase in 2014. Gran Paradiso National Park was the first national park to be established in Italy in 1922. It includes a large territory of high mountains, from the 800 meters of the valley bottoms to the 4.061 meters of Gran Paradiso peak. Larch and fir woodlands, wide alpine grasslands, rocks, and glaciers make up an ideal setting for the life of a rich and various wildlife and for a visit leading to the discovery of the wonderful world of the high mountains.

The Green List validation process implies a verification of all management aspects of the protected area. Therefore, it is a process that helps organize work better. In my opinion, the most useful and interesting contribution, however, was that of having pushed a more accurate definition of targets and procedures to achieve them.

Being part from the beginning of a global elite of protected areas is in itself a great advantage both in terms of communication of their work and as an incentive to keep up the commitment and the results for the park. Thanks to Green List, it has been possible to measure ourselves with the best world’s excellence on the management of protected areas.

Antonio Mingozzi Director of “Ente Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso” (Gran Paradiso National Park)
The value of the Green List does not only lie in a gratification for the capabilities of a park, but has very important implications for the sustainability policies of the whole planet. Being able to demonstrate the efficacy and results of your actions for the territory and its inhabitants means asserting your role forcefully and also obtaining a larger audience and more resources from both the public and the private sector.
The aims of a park are at the service of the whole community both local and global. This task which in the past seemed relegated to a mere testimony of safeguarding endangered species and habitats, today has become an important part of a challenge that engages political and economic leaders from all over the world. Parks, especially those recognised as Green Lists, represent a fundamental technical and governance reference for the maintenance of fundamental natural resources for the health and economy of all citizens.
Giampiero Sammuri President of Federparchi Europarc-Italia

Site Attributes

WDPA ID
718

Size
710.44km2

Designation(s)
Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive); Special Protection Area (Birds Directive)

IUCN Category
II

Year Established
1922

Marine Protected Area
No

Governance Type
Government-delegated management

Site Manager
Antonio Mingozzi

Application
2014 (pilot site)

EAGL Evaluation
-

GL Committee Submission
-

EAGL Chair
Fulvio Cerfolli

ASI Reviewer
Liviu Amariei

Site Summary

Gran Paradiso National Park protects an area characterized mainly by an alpine environment. The mountains that make up the range, in the past have been cut and modelled by giant glaciers and by streams that created the valleys that we see today. In the forests of the valley floor the most common trees are larches, mixed with spruces, Swiss stone pines and more rarely silver firs. Higher up the slopes the trees gradually thin out and make way for vast alpine pastures, rich with flowers in late spring. Higher still, the landscape is characterized by rocks and glaciers, right up to the highest tips of the massif which reach a peak of 4000 metres with that of Gran Paradiso.

In addition to the protection and conservation of the territory, the park is also a scientific research body. Research is carried out on wildlife and vegetation within the Park. The monitoring of wildlife (also through the so-called census) and of biodiversity and other activities are carried out in detail throughout the territory in collaboration with several universities and research centres such as CNR.

Gran Paradiso National Park has had its own guard corps since 1947 that watches over and patrols the territory of the protected area. This is different from more recent national parks, in which the surveillance is entrusted to the State Forest Corps legal framework. Gran Paradiso, with Implementation Decree from the Ministry of the Environment, maintains its own historical guards corps, continuing a tradition and experience, proven by time. The role of park rangers is fundamental who, through their work, contribute to scientific research through sightings and animal control. The park’s surveillance service, keeping in line with tradition and without neglecting its strong points, is continually evolving, with constant updating which goes from legal standards to mountain rescue, from notions of self-help to study of the fauna. A service which today, along with the traditional surveillance activities, carries out other functions, such as regular police investigations, dealing directly with the public and participation in scientific research. So it’s the rangers themselves that collaborate with the Attorney’s Office and with the municipal-engineering service of the park authority, give advice to tourists going on excursions, go to schools to talk about the park and contribute to various types of research conducted both by the park’s scientific service and by universities.

The park has many activities on its territory, as well as nationally and internationally to raise awareness and promote the protected area of Gran Paradiso. Every season of every year the Park offers different scenery. Late spring and summer are the months for blooming and high altitude excursions. In autumn, the forests change colour, while the mating period starts for the alpine chamois. In winter, the snow-covered territory lends itself to walking with snowshoes, cross country skiing and mountaineering, with the possibility of spotting animals in their beautiful winter plumage.

Thanks to its old establishment, the Gran Paradiso National Park boasts extensive knowledge of its natural ecosystem of the territory’s history, representing an ideal outdoor educational workshop. The spectrum of proposals of environmental education ranges from more naturalistic themes to anthropological and historical ones, and they are all marked by stimulating the development of a critical sense in understanding the relationship with the environment and in awareness of responsible behaviour regarding precious environmental heritage. The activities are carried out by educators, park interpreters, nature guides, park rangers trained in environmental education, and experts working for several years in the area. They are structured with actions in the classroom (for schools), excursions in the territory and practical activities in the countryside and in the various park structures (Environmental Education Centres, Visitor centres, laboratories …).

The Ministers Committee of the Council of Europe officially assigned the European Diploma of Protected Areas to the Gran Paradiso National Park. Thanks to this document, the first Italian National Park is directly under the sponsorship of the Council of Europe for 5 years. The Diploma can be renewed or cancelled in the event that a general deterioration in the condition of the site is recognized. Gran Paradiso National Park’s European diploma of protected areas has already been renewed twice until March 18th 2021 (Resolution CM / resDip (2011) 3 adopted by the Committee of Ministers of 6th July 2011 during the 1118th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

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