Italy inaugurates the Path of Parks, an itinerary through protected areas

A hiking route that crosses the 26 national parks from North to South stems from the collaboration between the Ministry of the Environment and the Italian Alpine Club

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The Italian Ministry of the Environment and the Italian Alpine Club have started a partnership with the aim of educating on environmental issues. In particular, the agreement intends to spread the culture of the environment, biodiversity and sustainable development, and enhance the paths in the protected areas, promoting the conscious attendance of the Terre Terre and the realization of that eco-sustainable path that will take the name of “Path of the Parks “, which will be launched today on the occasion of the European Parks Day.

“A hiking itinerary that will touch all 26 national parks in our country, which will have as its backbone the current Italy CAI path – explains the Minister of the Environment Sergio Costa – National parks are a treasure trove of nature: we must ensure their conservation, but also usability. The attention paid with the budget law – as much as 35 million euros in the 2020-2033 period – for the maintenance and enhancement of trail networks in protected areas together with this agreement with the CAI are important signs of how much we care about the our priceless heritage of biodiversity and its enhancement in terms of sustainable tourism, especially in this post-Covid recovery period in which we all feel the need to be more outdoors. And for all travelers along the Path of the Parks we will also create a passport, a symbolic recognition for hikers who will cross the territory of each park and to reward those who have managed to complete it by stopping in all 26 national parks “.

The current CAI Italy Path, over 7000 km long, connects all Italian regions along the Apennine ridge and the Alpine arc, from Santa Teresa Gallura, in northern Sardinia, to Muggia, in the province of Trieste. An itinerary, which embraces the whole country through the mountains, and which currently runs through 18 of the 26 national parks and has 85 stages, out of a total of about 400, entirely or partially included within their borders.

Thanks to the agreement with the ministry, specific variants are planned, so as to include all protected areas, in an eco-sustainable visit that combines parks, biosphere reserves, UNESCO naturalistic sites and intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The aim of the project is to relaunch protected areas as places of conservation and management of nature, which allow residents to create sustainable economic chains.

“I think there was no better occasion to celebrate European Parks Day – declares the general president of the Italian Alpine Club Vincenzo Torti – than not signing a protocol between the Italian Alpine Club and the Ministry of the Environment, the result of a meeting with Minister Sergio Costa, who pointed out to us and demonstrated his sensitivity and attention to uniting all Italian parks in a single path. Moving from the CAI Italy Path, which already embraces all our regions, we will connect, this time in a project that will surely become reality in the shortest possible time, also all 26 national parks. An additional opportunity to offer to those who want to live the experience of nature in a guided way through the paths that the Cai describes and maintains, and consequently to promote our country even more. Thanks to the attention of the Ministry of the Environment and to all those, first of all to our volunteers, who will make it possible to implement this great project “.

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The trail network of national parks enhances the naturalistic and cultural heritage of the protected areas and promotes the protection and protection of the territories. The Ministry of the Environment has intervened in recent years in cases of particular urgency for the safety and restoration of bad path networks following extreme events that have caused serious damage to the territories of the parks.

From this year, thanks to the allocation for the enhancement of green infrastructures in protected natural areas, assigned by the budget law to the ministry for a total sum of 35 million euros to be used between 2020 and 2033, it will be possible to finance maintenance interventions and strengthening the path networks in national protected areas, so as to strengthen, through their enhancement, the identity and culture of the places and support the local economy and sustainable tourism.