Mount Etna is an iconic site encompassing 19,237 uninhabited hectares on the highest part of Mount Etna, on the eastern coast of Sicily. Mount Etna is the highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world. The eruptive history of the volcano can be traced back 500,000 years and at least 2,700 years of this activity has been documented. The almost continuous eruptive activity of Mount Etna continues to influence volcanology, geophysics and other Earth science disciplines. The volcano also supports important terrestrial ecosystems including endemic flora and fauna and its activity makes it a natural laboratory for the study of ecological and biological processes. The diverse and accessible range of volcanic features such as summit craters, cinder cones, lava flows and the Valle de Bove depression have made the site a prime destination for research and education. © UNESCO
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
One of the world’s most active and iconic volcanoes
One of the best-studied and monitored volcanoes
Mount Etna cableway, which is located inside the buffer zone (Zone C/ALT) and was pre-existant to Mount Etna Regional Park Institution, and organized 4x4 drives, which are authorized by the Park Institution, increase access to the site which increases littering, erosion, noise and disturbance of wildlife.
The Park has obtained a state funding from MIBACT (Tourism, Cultural and Environment Heritage Ministry) to implement the project entitled “Strengthening management capacity of the Mount Etna UNESCO Site” (see point 7.11), including participatory initiatives aim to finalize and update the Management Plan.
The Operative Plan of the property for 2016 was implemented by local staff through the involvement of an expert geomorphologist following successfully securing 100,000 EUR, but funding for 2017 has not yet been confirmed at the time of writing (September, 2017).
The above-mentioned MIBACT project, "Strengthening management capacity of the Mont Etna UNESCO site" aims to address and comply with the World Heritage Committee recommendation, both to strengthen staff technical capacity through del Gelo monitoring, and to review and implement the Management Plan. Furthermore, the project includes and activity to implement the communication the property, including the creation of a logo, a website, and an App to communicate the main values of the property. Moreover, many tourism facilities have been restored within the buffer zone.
Furthermore, a project entitled “Study on biology and eco-ethology of wildcat in the Regional Park of Etna, and implementation of a conservation plan” has recently been completed, which aims to support the evaluation process to recognise wildcat in the Habitat Directive Annex II.
Other projects in 2017 include a research project to monitor Sicilian rock partridge, wild rabbit and wildcat conservation inside Etna Park area.
Additional monitoring projects that are also underway on other themes include tourist flow, of Grotta del gelo (iced lava caved within the property) etc.
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||NGOs Giacche Verdi Bronte (Italy) and Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung (Germany)||“The joint activity of the environmental NGOs Giacche Verdi Bronte (Italy) and Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung (Germany) aims for saving the threatened „1000 years old oak trees” at Mount Egitto" which is part of Mount Etna.|
|2||Ente Parco Etna / Accademia Italiana di Scienze Forestali||“Monitoraggio vegetazionale, forestale e dell’avifauna” (Vegetation, Forestry and Avifauna Monitoring). Core zone - Mount Egitto (which is part of Mount Etna)|
|3||Ente Parco / Servizio Fitosanitario forestale dell’Azienda Foreste Demaniali- Regione Siciliana||“Monitoraggio dell’Entomofauna” (Enthomofauna Monitoring)|
|4||Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia INGV, Ente Parco Etna||Placement of dynamic digital panels along geological sites inside Etna natural Park.Reorganization, enhancement and promotion of the Museum of Etna (Museo Vulcanologico dell’Etna), located in Nicolosi (CT), through a new interactive concept of museum, in order to increase the spread of scientific research and its impact on society|
|5||Ente Parco Etna||Improvement of Mount Manfrè Woods -buffer zone|
|6||Ente Parco Etna / Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche, Chimiche e Farmaceutiche dell’Universita’ di Palermo||Progetto di ricerca “Studio sulla biologia ed eco-etologia del gatto selvatico nel parco regionale dell’etna e realizzazione del piano di conservazione” (“Study on biology and eco-ethology of wildcat in the Regional Park of Etna, and implementation of a conservation plan”). Il progetto, già ultimato, ha consentito di acquisire il piano di conservazione delle popolazioni etnee di gatto. Dallo studio è emerso che in Sicilia vive l’unica popolazione mediterranea non introdotta dall’uomo; infatti studi recenti hanno evidenziato che il patrimonio genetico di questa popolazione è chiaramente divergente rispetto alle altre popolazioni italiane, di fatto una distinta unità di conservazione. In pratica, se si estinguesse sarebbe persa per sempre. Di conseguenza andrebbero attivate le procedure per il riconoscimento nell'Allegato II della direttiva Habitat. Infatti oggi il Gatto (Italiano) è classificato come “least concern” (specie a rischio minimo) dalla IUCN, anche se le popolazioni sono in declino in tutto l’areale. E’ compreso nella lista rossa dei vertebrati italiani e a livello legislativo è inserito nella Direttiva Habitat (allegato IV) della Comunità Europea|
|7||Ente Parco dell’Etna / Dipartimento di Scienze biologiche, geologiche ed ambientali dell’Università di Catania||
||Investigation and esearch activity at Nuova Gussonea bothanic garden, referring to native, rare or threatened species and biodiversity conservation. A brief publication on this argument has been published, titled “More representativeplant communities in the Mount Etna UNESCO Site”.|
|8||Ente Parco Etna / AccademiaItaliana di ScienzeForestali||
||Agreement for the implementation of the studies concerning Mount Egitto ecosystem components and priority Habitat 91AA* assessment.|
|9||Ente Parco Etna / Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche, Chimiche e Farmaceutiche dell’Universita’ di Palermo||
||Agreement for the implementation of the project “Investigation and monitoring for Sicilian rock partridge, wild rabbit and wildcat conservation in the Etna Park area”.|
|10||Mount Etna Park Authority||An educational and information programme for Sicilian schools on Sicilian UNESCO World Heritage properties (called #generazioneunescosicilia), is currently underway and ending in 2018, financed by MIBACT (Ministry of Tourism, Cultural and Environmental Heritage).|
|№||Site need title||Brief description of potential site needs||Support needed for following years|
|1||N.A.||Improvement of visitor facilities|
IUCN Evaluation, 2013.
List of the habitats occurring within the regional park "Mt Etna" (extr. Preparatory documents for the Management Plan of Mount Etna / 2009) in Italian
List of the main threats affecting the regional park "Mt Etna" (extr. Preparatory documents for the Management Plan of Mount Etna / 2009) in Italian
Parco dell’Etna, 2012. Nomination Document.
Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, 2013.