The Seville Declaration
“The nine components of The Dolomites World Heritage Site protect a series of highly distinctive mountain landscapes that are of exceptional natural beauty. Their dramatic vertical and pale coloured peaks in a variety of distinctive sculptural forms is extraordinary in a global context. This property also contains an internationally important combination of earth science values.
The quantity and concentration of highly varied limestone formations is extraordinary in a global context, whilst the superbly exposed geology provides an insight into the recovery of marine life in the Triassic period, after the greatest extinction event recorded in the history of life on Earth. The sublime, monumental and colourful landscapes of the Dolomites have also long attracted hosts of travellers and a history of scientific and artistic interpretations of its values.”
(UNESCO, World Heritage Committee – Seville, 26 June 2009)
On 26 June 2009, UNESCO listed the Dolomites as a World Heritage Site for the aesthetic value of its landscape and for the scientific importance of its geology and geomorphology.
Following the UNESCO recognition, nine separated mountainous systems, although considered as a whole, became the outstanding evidence of a mountain area that is unique in the world.
The Dolomites are not an interrupted mountain chain but rather nine mountainous systems each separated by valleys, rivers and other mountains. The 142,000 hectares that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site form a sort of archipelago spread over a vast Alpine area and falling within the boundaries of five Italian provinces of considerable institutional and administrative diversity.
On 13 May 2010, the provincial (Belluno, Bolzano, Pordenone, Trento, Udine) and regional (Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto) authorities charged with managing the Dolomites World Heritage Site made a commitment to UNESCO by setting up the Fondazione Dolomiti – Dolomiten – Dolomites – Dolomitis UNESCO, working together to ensure the effective, coordinated management of the Dolomite property.
The Foundation is the single point of contact with the Italian Ministry for the Environment and with the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee and its job is to encourage communication and collaboration between the local authorities that manage and administer, according to their individual regulatory frameworks, the territory recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
While the provincial and regional authorities each retain their own administrative and governmental powers according to current legislation, the Foundation plays a fundamental role in coordinating and harmonising management policies for the Dolomite property, with the aim of devising a common strategy.
This represents a considerable cultural challenge for the Foundation, given the complexity of the Dolomite property, in cultural, linguistic and administrative terms, a unique situation unlike that of any other UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Foundation is one of a kind, an entity created specifically to favour the sustainable development of an area whose historical diversity is also quite remarkable.