The National Park of Mercantour is not only a territory, it is also a public institution with administrative character, under the tutelage of the Ministry of Environment.
A national park is a territory whose biological wealth, the landscape quality, cultural interest and historically preserved character warrant protection and management that guarantees the sustainability of this considered as exceptional heritage.
The 'National Park' appellation is recognized worldwide as the highest level of quality and protection of outstanding natural areas.
The unique nature of the territory of Mercantour Park, on the border between France and Italy, in the Southern Alps, has justified its classification as 'National Park' on August the 18th, 1979.
Since the Act of April the 14th 2006, the park is composed of a regulated heart and a membership area.
The heart of the park is an excellent area, where priority is given to the protection of environment, animal and plant species, landscapes, and cultural heritage. It is the subject of special regulation.
The territory of the park is also composed of a membership area. The communes close to the heart of the park, and part of the optimal range, have the possibility of acceding to the Charter of the Park. The Charter project of each park is developed in conjunction with local actors.
A real ecological solidarity is established between the heart of the park, fragile and protected natural jewel, and the area of accession, whose remarkable spaces require a sustainable development.
The national park has following priorities:
-the protection of biodiversity, essential mission as the national community is entitled to expect of a national park; However since the Act of 2006, the national park is also responsible for protecting its cultural heritage;
-good governance which aims to ensure a better functioning of the institutions, strengthen links with local actors;
-excellence in the management of the heritage and also the reception of the public, by which national parks should be at the height of the symbolic dimension that distinguishes them from other forms of protection and more ordinary natural settings.
The national park headquarter is based in Nice were administrative and technical teams are seated together.
For the purposes of its management, the park is divided into seven sectors, corresponding to the main valleys of the massif. Each of them has a team of technicians and guards, animation and scientific and technical operations at the local level. If you cross them, they will be happy to tell you the curiosities of nature or even unusual stories of the valleys.
Twinned since July the 10th 1987, the Parco naturale Alpi Marittime (Ex Argentera) and the Mercantour national park conducted multiple common operations induced by the complementarity of their territories and their natural heritage.
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