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EUROPARC wins World of TUI 2001 Environmental Prize

The EUROPARC<.> Federation, the umbrella organisation for protected areas in Europe, wins this year`s international…

The EUROPARC<.> Federation, the umbrella organisation for protected areas in Europe, wins this year`s international World of TUI 2001 Environmental Prize. The award presentation ceremony takes place in Berlin on 18 March 2002 at ITB (Internationale Tourismus Borse). The award includes sponsorship totalling Euro 10,000. According to Dr. Wolf Michael Iwand, Environmental Management Director at Preussag AG: By awarding the World of TUI 2001 Environmental Prize, we wish to honour the commitment of EUROPARC over many years working on behalf of protected areas on the European continent. The successful policy pursued by EUROPARC of sustainably combining the unique wealth of biodiversity, landscapes and ecosystems in Europe with controlled tourism access is worthy of the highest international recognition.

For our part, this award is both a source of motivation and a further stimulus to further develop the European Charta and to continue our commitment to making sustainable tourism in European protected areas a success, says EUROPARC managing director Eva Pongratz.

Since 1995, EUROPARC has developed the European Charta for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. By signing this Charta, national- and nature parks throughout Europe have openly committed themselves to the development of tourism in line with the principles of sustainable development. This process is rigorously supported by World of TUI. Our strategy is to protect through controlled use. Utilisation at a tourism level should only proceed when observing strict capacity limits and professionally supervising the visitors. This is a clear and unequivocal demand which we make in many European holiday destinations. EUROPARC is an extremely important partner for us in this regard, says Iwand.

The EUROPARC Federation headquartered in Grafenau/Bavarian Forest, was founded in 1973 as The Federation of European Nature-and National Parks. It is an independent European nature conservation organisation whose members include over 400 protected areas and government offices responsible for protected areas in 38 countries. The current president is Dr. Patrizia Rossi from Italy and the eight-member executive board comprises representatives from eight different European countries.

The internationally coveted TUI Environmental Prize was awarded for the first time in 1991 and is given every year to outstanding internationally active initiatives which have made vital and exemplary contributions to the protection and conservation of nature and the environment in World of TUI holiday destinations. Prize winners in recent years include the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with its Blue Flag campaign; the Baobab Trust in Kenya; the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece; the Spanish environmental protection association GOB on the Balearic Island of Menorca; and the CIPRA Alpine Protection Commission.

Theodore Koumelis
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