Global distinction for the protected area of Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park Certification for Sustainable Tourism



Global distinction for the protected area of Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park
Certification for Sustainable Tourism

Continuing the effort of the Management Body (MB) of Chelmos - Vouraikos which started before about a year, with the significant and essential contribution of the company under the name “DATA RC - DATA RESEARCH AND CONSULTING", the international certification with the title "European Charter for Sustainable Tourism" by the Pan-European Federation of National Parks and Protected Areas (EUROPARC FEDERATION) based in Regensburg (Germany), has now been achieved for the Chelmos -Vouraikos National Park, which is also certified as Global Geopark of UNESCO, and for the local communities.

The effort was a part of the Project Environmental Park (EPA) of the “European Territorial Cooperation Programme Greece-Italy 2007-2013” of the Regional Development Fund of Region of Western Greece.

The Chelmos - Vouraikos National Park managed to join in an international network of protected areas that have received this award and it is the second protected area of Greece, while, National Park of Tzoumerka, Peristeri & Arachthos Gorge received this distinction before about a month. It has to be mentioned that members who have been certified with the "European Charter for Sustainable Tourism” are 157 regions from 19 countries. More information about the network can be found at the site:

The certification "European Charter for Sustainable Tourism”, is valid for five years (2016-2020). It is an important tool for the promotion of the entire area that has been designated as National Park and Geopark, but also for the local community, ensuring that tourism will contribute to a balanced economic, social and environmental development.

By this way, local agents and stakeholders, through participatory processes, are allowed to improve the tourism product, to enhance the promotion of the region, the certification of local products, etc., and to propose measures and solutions, taking into account the environmental protection, the proper use of natural resources, the needs of local residents, local businesses and visitors. In this context, was signed a few days ago a memorandum of cooperation between Management Body of Chelmos - Vouraikos and municipalities, as well as those involved in sustainable tourism development in the region (Kalavrita ski center, Achaia Development Agency SA, Agricultural Dairy Cooperative of Kalavryta, Kalavrita Hotel Association, Cave of the Lakes, Environmental Education Centre of Kleitoria-Akrata, Tourism Committees of Aigialeia and Kalavryta Municipalities, Quality of Life Committees of Aigialeia and Kalavryta Municipalities and the Kalavryta Mountaineering Association).

Moreover, among the members of the international network, an opportunity is given to develop better cooperation with other National Parks (eg Abruzzo, Cabo de Gata), to exchange views, to improve management practices, education-training of stakeholders and entrepreneurs, harmonization with global standards for sustainable tourism development, the proper use of natural resources, effective communication with visitors for the special features of each region, to create benefits from tourism to the local economy.

Finally, we look forward to a lasting partnership with the local government, development agencies and entrepreneurs of the region, but also all users of the protected area, aiming to the maximum benefit of the local community.

The Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, during its nine years of operation, in addition to the important basic responsibility for monitoring and conservation of biodiversity in the National Park and locals and visitors information-awareness, has managed the integration of the protected area in the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, entitled "UNESCO Global Geoparks", and in the EUROPARC network with the certification "European Charter for Sustainable Tourism". Through these networking tools, Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body is trying to contribute to the promotion of alternative tourism activities, environmental education, protection and enhancement of the environment in the protected area of the National Park, with multiple benefits for the local community.

Written by Super User. Posted in press releases