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Good Practice


Rifugio dal Piaz tetto fotovoltaico, © Archivio PNDB – Gianni Poloniato

1. Plan of solarisation (by photovoltaic, micro-hydroelectric and micro-biodiesel energy) of the infrastructures at a high altitude (huts, lodges, camps), with the aim to eliminate as much as possible the environmental impact in areas of high ecological sensitivity. 2. Plan of demonstrative applications of solar-thermal and PV energy and forest biomass heating at a low altitude, particularly in structures interfaced with tourists, to maximize the communicative impact of these measures.

I Description of the measure

Casera Vescovà pannello fotovoltaico, © Archivio PNDB – Stefano Mariech

Title in original language: Fossil Free Park - Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi

Location of CNA: Italy

Municipality / regional entity: Veneto region

Category of the experience: Strategy
Type(s) of CNA:

Principal nomination: Technological
Secondary nomination(s): Educational

Thematic field(s):

Principal field: Energy 
Secondary field(s): Tourism

Spatial scale: Regional (small scale)
Time & duration:

Start date: 1997
Duration: Still in progress

Key word(s): Mountains, Power Plants, Renowable source


The main objective is to free the Belluno Dolomites National Park from the use of fossil energy. The idea behind the project is that a protected area - besides performing its primary functions of conservation, research and environmental education - can and must act as a veritable "laboratory of sustainable development", creating pilot-applications of alternative technologies for: • the production and use of energy • management of the waste • treatment of wastewater • mobility The park thus becomes a "technology showcase" which can inspire administrators and citizens to apply innovative and environment-friendly technologies even outside the boundaries of the protected area. The plants has been set up both in the internal areas of the Park and in the populated areas close to the perimeter, to transform the Park into a demonstrative area totally "free" from fossil sources of energy and which therefore does not contribute to the global climate change from CO2 emissions.


Thanks to the project "Fossil free", the infrastructures of the Park (refuges, lodges, huts, visitor centers, info points) have been equipped with energy supply systems which use: • biomass (wood chips, wood pellets or firewood) • biodiesel oil for purposes of heating, micro-cogeneration and alternative supply for diesel engines • solar-photovoltaic energy • micro-hydroelectric energy


The potential for substitution of the fossil energy in a natural protected area sparsely populated as the Belluno Dolomites National Park is limited in terms of quantity; however the communicative and educational impact of the project is considerable and allows climbers, hikers, tourists, residents and school classes which visit the Park to see practical examples of the utilisation of renewable energy sources.

II Assessment criteria

Col del Mich impianto fotovoltaico, © Archivio PNDB - Stefano Mariech

Mitigation effects: High

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has not been quantified yet. This quantification is the subject of an ongoing investigation.

Impacts on adaptation: Neutral

Given the nature of the interventions carried out, it’s not possible to quantify their impact on climate change adaptation.

Impacts on environment:

- Landscape: Neutral
- Alpine ecosystems / biodiversity: Positive
- Water / soil / air: Neutral
- "Other": None

Since the interventions have been carried out in the Belluno Dolomites National Park and in the adjoining areas, there has been a positive impact in that part of the north-eastern Alpine ecosystem space.

Impacts on society:

- Social justice: Neutral
- Regional / cultural identity: Positive
- "Other": None

As mentioned above, there has been a positive educational and communicative impact of the project, and the raised interest of tourists and visitors produced a positive effect on the self-perception of the local residents. Moreover, many local administrators could see the outputs of the Fossil Free strategy and have then been inspired to set up similar plants on the public buildings under their jurisdiction.

Impacts on economy:

- Employment / job creation: Positive
- Added value / income: Positive
- Know how / competitiveness: Positive
- "Other": None

The direct positive impact is represented by the contracts signed with the companies commissioned to set up the plants, whereas there has been a positive side-effect on local employment due to the increase of eco-tourism in the Park.

Public relations impact and awareness-raising: Very high

The feedback has been positive, as demonstrated by the fact that many local administrations have set up similar plants. The project has been also explained during lectures, courses and conferences held in Italy and abroad about the main innovative experiences in the Belluno Dolomites National Park.

Transferability: Very high

The transferability degree is very high: indeed the Ministry of Economic Development has funded in recent years a project to export this experience in the Pollino National Park. In addition to that, the Natural Park of the Adamello Brenta, in Trentino region, has started a few years ago a similar project with the same name, Fossil Free Park, showing how easily the Fossil Free strategy can be exported and applied to the reality of other regional or national protected areas.

Cross sectoral and integrative approach: High

The Fossil Free project was born of a collaboration between the Belluno Dolomites National Park and the Province of Belluno, in the context of the European project ALTENER (Alternative Energies).

Good governance: Very high

The operative collaboration has taken place between the Park Authority and other bodies, associations or Administrations owners of the structures on which the Park has set up the renewable sources power plants. Among these, the CAI (Italian Alpine Club), the Territorial Office for Biodiversity of Belluno and several Municipalities as Pedavena, Feltre and Belluno.

III Executive body and contact information

Executive body: Administration, Other public bodies

The Belluno Dolomites National Park Authority and the CAI are non-economic public institutions. The Municipalities of Feltre, Belluno and Pedavena and the Territorial Office for Biodiversity are Public Administrations.

Contact person(s):

Name: Stefano Mariech
Institution: Belluno Dolomites National Park
Address: Piazzale Zancanaro, 1 - 32032 Feltre - BL - Italia
Phone: +39 (0)439.3328
Fax: +39 (0)439.332999
Email: [email protected]

Online information:

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