In 1997, the World Heritage Committee decided to register the site Porto Venere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto) in its list (Naples, Italy - 21st session of the World Heritage Committee - 1-6 December 1997), based on criteria (ii), (iv), and (v), considering the eastern Ligurian Riviera, between the Cinque Terre and Porto Venere, as a cultural site of outstanding value since it represents the harmonious interaction established between man and nature. This interaction has resulted in a landscape that is aesthetically noteworthy, bears witness to a more than millennial traditional lifestyle, and continues to play an important socio-economic role in community life.
In order to guarantee the conservation, enhancement, and sustainable and equitable development of the UNESCO Site, based on its values and in compliance with the tangible and intangible attributes that sustain them and make them understandable, a coordinated and shared management strategy is vital for all institutional players.
On 1 August 2016, a Programme Agreement was signed (pursuant to L. 267/2000 of local authorities' order) by all the entities in various capacities responsible for the site and the buffer zone: Liguria Region, Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Cinque Terre National Park, Municipality of Porto Venere - Regional Natural Park of Porto Venere, Municipalities of Levanto, Monterosso al Mare, Pignone, Riomaggiore, La Spezia, Vernazza, Beverino, Riccò del Golfo.
It is a formal Act undertaken by the parties involved, defining actors and their pertinent commitments and activities for site management, for the activities of protection and enhancement.
The Agreement establishes the site management structure, divided into various bodies, variously composed of the signatories of the Act:
- Coordination Committee - a direction and supervisory body aimed at ensuring the effective management of the Site
- Community of buffer zone Municipalities responsible for coordinating objectives, problems, and activities relating to the buffer zone
- Technical-administrative work group responsible for implementing the Management Plan and common activities with operational functions for implementing the coordination committee guidelines
- UNESCO site office, carries out joint site promotion activities and ensures the smooth running of the technical-administrative board
- Technical Secretary supports the Coordination Committee, the Working Group, and the UNESCO site office
- Consulting Committee responsible for advisory functions directed to the Coordination Committee regarding the knowledge programmes, general plan guidelines, specific projects, monitoring the implementation of the Agreement and the periodic report.
By signing the Agreement, all signatories, within the scope of their competences and functions, have undertaken to preserve, respect, and promote the Site’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), as identified in the reasons for registration on the list, and in the declaration of outstanding universal value, to protect the tangible and intangible characteristics that make its value explicit and to guarantee the maintenance of the authenticity and the improvement of integrity of the site; to promote sustainable and equitable forms of local community development, implementing concerted protection, planning and management mechanisms based on the regulations in force and a shared plan of actions as defined in the Management Plan.
The Coordination Committee is the governing and supervisory body aimed at ensuring the site’s effective management and compliance with the commitments undertaken with the Agreement, directing the activities aimed at management and those of the working group.
The Coordination Committee consists of:
- President of the Liguria Regione or a delegate
- Secretary General of the Ministry of cultural assets and activities and tourism or a delegate
- President of Cinque Terre National Park or a delegate
- Mayor of the Municipality of Porto Venere as legal representative of the Porto Venere National Park or a delegate
- Mayors of Municipalities having territory entirely or partly included in the UNESCO site or a delegate
- a representative of the Buffer Zone Municipalities elected within the Community of Municipalities themselves.
Community of Buffer Zone Municipalities
The Community of Buffer Zone Municipalities has the task of coordinating objectives, problems, and activities relating to the Buffer Zone, which performs the function of additional and indirect protection of the Site’s values.
The Community is made up of:
- Mayors of Municipalities having territory entirely or partly included in the aforementioned zone
A Municipal representative elects a delegate who sits on the Coordination Committee, to ensure connection and integration between objectives, problems and activities of the Buffer Zone with those of the UNESCO site.
Technical-administrative work group
The Technical-administrative work group has the task of implementing the Management Plan and joint activities with proposals requiring approval by the Coordination Committee.
The following are part of the work group:
- the Liguria Region through identification of its own contact person
- the Regional MIBAC Secretary or a delegate
- the Superintendent of archaeology, fine arts, and landscape of Liguria or a delegate
- an official of the Superintendent
- the Director of Cinque Terre National Park or a delegate and a technical official of the Park
- the official responsible for the Porto Venere National Park and a planning official from the Municipality of Porto Venere
- a technical official for each signing Municipality
A representative of the MiBAC General Secretariat - Service I, Coordination and International Relations - UNESCO Office also takes part in the working group in those cases where issues specifically dealt with are of national or international relevance, or concern relations with the Agreement organisations.
UNESCO Site Office
On the 3rd of August 2018, an Implementing Protocol was signed for the establishment of the UNESCO Site Office "Porto Venere, Cinque Terre, and Islands (Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto)" by the Liguria Region, Cinque Terre National Park, Municipality of Porto Venere - Regional Natural Park of Porto Venere, and Municipalities of Levanto, Monterosso al Mare, Pignone, Riomaggiore, La Spezia, Vernazza, Beverino, and Riccò del Golfo.
The “Site manager” for the UNESCO site works at the Office.
- provides support and operational coordination of the permanent technical-administrative work group, and of joint and unitary public relations for the UNESCO site, in collaboration with the Technical Secretary
- supports implementation on the territory of the actions determined in the Management Plan, as defined by the Working Group and the Coordination Committee;
- is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the actions determined in the management plan (efficiency of the management system) and the achievement of the objectives pursued through the Plan’s actions (Plan effectiveness);
- is responsible for transmitting the periodic report compiled by the Working Group to the UNESCO Central Office;
- acts as a link with the World Heritage Centre through the MiBAC General Secretariat - Service I, Coordination and International Relations - UNESCO Office.
The Contact person in the Office is also identified pursuant to Law n. 77/2006 coinciding with the Site Manager and acting as Contact at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities pursuant to this Law.
The Site Manager and Contact role is held in turn by the President of the Cinque Terre National Park and by the Mayor of the Municipality of Porto Venere for 12 month periods.
The Office is also dedicated to improving services provided to users within the site, according to UNESCO guidelines, in order to provide an increasingly effective response to the emerging needs of the territory. This activity guarantees the activation of an information and communication point for users regarding the Site, the management structure, and its activities.
The Technical Secretary (whose actions are led by the Liguria Region) supports the activities of the Coordination Committee, the Working Group and the UNESCO site Office.
The Consulting Committee works alongside the Coordination Committee with advisory functions regarding the awareness programmes, general plan guidelines, specific projects, monitoring the Agreement implementation, and the periodic report.
The Consulting Committee includes:
- representative of the Ministry of cultural assets and activities, and tourism
- a representative of the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea
- a representative of the National Landscape Observatory
- a representative of the Regional Landscape Observatory
- a representative of the University of Genoa
- no more than two well-known experts in matters pertinent to the promotion and protection of the UNESCO site’s values
A representative of each of the ICCROM and ICOMOS International World Heritage Committee's consulting bodies is invited to join the Committee.