DestiMED is an Interreg Mediterranean project, cofounded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and coordinated by the Lazio Region (Italy). The project supports Mediterranean protected areas and their private sector partners by providing them with tools to develop, manage, and promote high quality ecotourism packages.
¨These ecotourism packages generate positive outcomes for conservation and communities, by strengthening the local economy while minimizing the impacts of tourism on natural and cultural resources,¨ says Lacopo Sinibaldi, DestiMED Project Manager representing Lazio Region, the Lead Partner.
DestiMED builds off the success of MEET Network (Mediterranean Experience of Ecotourism), an European project that is now a non-profit network and association of protected areas focused on ecotourism product development and impact management. MEET was established with the intent of fostering a regional governance system that will coordinate, enhance and promote protected area ecotourism across the Mediterranean Basin.
Launched on January 19, 2017, in Rome, the project is further developing and testing ecotourism standards, offers, and monitoring tools that measure and improve the sustainability and quality of ecotourism in the protected areas of the Mediterranean region.
The expected results of the DestiMED project can be summarized as following:
- Mediterranean Ecotourism Destinations Standards: Creating a “quality” framework at the interregional level (Mediterranean ecotourism sustainability standards and monitoring);
- A monitoring system to assess the level of sustainability of tourism offers at Park levels: enhancing the reasonable use of resources (local destination sustainability checks and training);
- DestiMED Ecotourism products: supporting stakeholders’ integration (local clusters and regional representation) through an integrated and territorially-based cooperation approach.
- Guidelines for the establishment of eco-tourism management plans for Mediterranean Protected Areas: preparing the framework for the forthcoming governance system (DMO) for Mediterranean Ecotourism in Protected Areas.
The project brings together 13 protected areas in Albania, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy and Spain to collectively develop, manage and promote ecotourism in the Mediterranean basin. Thanks to this project, 13 pilot projects will be implemented by seven partners which are: Lazio Region (coordinator, Italy), MedPAN (France), WWF Adria (Croatia), WWF Mediterranean (Italy), the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (Spain), Federparchi (Italy), and the National Agency of Protected Areas (NAPA) in Albania.
A nice video was created in Samaria National Park to show the work the team members are doing in the framework of the DestiMED project and the ecotourism package they are developing.
Watch the video here.
Jeremy Sampson, Ecosystem Programme Communications Officer