Italian organisation

The management of the property of the UNESCO world heritage site in Italy is up to the Italian State.
In 2008 the Italian State and various organizations such as the Lombardy Region, the Province of Varese, the Municipalities of Besano, Clivio, Porto Ceresio, Saltrio and Viggiù, the department of Earth Sciences of the University of Milan, the Comunità Montana of Piambello (Consortium of mountain municipalities) and the Chamber of Commerce of Varese signed a protocol in order to implement the “Management Plan” part of the nomination dossier.

Management by the municipal authorities: the Convention of Monte San Giorgio

The first two years of transnational management, on the Italian side, confirmed the effectiveness of the Convention MSG so it was decided to propose it again with a statute.
The MSG Convention was then signed in 2012, identifying the Comunità Montana of Piambello as the new leader, in possession of a structure capable of ensuring coordination (see statute).
The proposed structure is identical to the one that carried out a successful candidacy but with greater flexibility and agility from a technical administrative point of view.
The convention has the following goals:

  • To protect, preserve, enhance and promote what constitutes its cultural/scientific heritage and also through a continuous and fruitful relationship with the Foundation of Monte San Giorgio (Switzerland).
  • To carry out activities that aim to protect, preserve, enhance and promote the cultural, scientific and natural heritage of Monte San Giorgio through a series of actions set out in the Convention and in agreement with the Foundation Monte San Giorgio (Switzerland).

The Convention is run by a Board of planning and managing of the Unesco site of Monte San Giorgio composed by the representatives of the 6 authorities subscribers whom elect a President among themself. It is up to the Board to take all decisions concerning the management and the programming of the site.
The Board has a fund and its own budget.
In order to implement its decisions, the Convention uses the following staff:

  • A Management Director (Site Manager) responsable for the organization of the activities of the Convention in order to pursue the purposes thereof.
  • A Scientific Commission, appointed in accordance with the Regional Office of Archaeological Heritage, responsable for the care and development of scientific actions aimed to the enhancement of the site.

The Comunità Montana of Piambello also provides internal administrative staff responsable for the activities and coordination of activities related to the management of the Monte San Giorgio Site.

State Management

 According to the Italian law, financial aid may be granted through the law 77/2006 on Italian Unesco sites, whose funds come under the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. Every year there is an announcement for projects concering conservation, management and enhancement themes. Only the Representatives of UNESCO sites, formally appointed, are entitled to submit an application. The proposals are reviewed by a Committee that evaluates and assigns the funds based on compliance with legal requirements and the quality of the proposal. The amount of funding provided by the law 77/2006 has been in recent years about 3 milion euro but now decreasing due to the spending review planned by the Finance Act.
Apart from this support measure, the State operates in areas subjected to restrictions through the action of the Regional Office of Archaeological Heritage, a peripheral Office of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, which provides highly qualified personnel with the task of monitoring and controlling the paleontological heritage, employed mainly in regard to the risk of damage and loss of property. The Regional Office of Archaeological Heritage also carries out, along with the Guardia di Finanza ( Revenue Guard Corps) and other designated authorities, a monitoring action towards possible illegale trades. In fact, it confirms that in Italy the current legislation provides that (Cultural and Landscape Code, Art.10, paragraph 4, letter a) all things belong to the category of cultural heritage “by anyone and in any manner found in the subsoil or seabed, belong to the State” (Cultural and Landscape Code, Art.9). In particular, “things that affect paleontology....” are part of the cultural heritage and as such are subjected to the same Code which establishes the forms of protection and supervision of research and excavation carried out by the Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities. The same Ministry issues licenses for excavation after checking the requirements and the motivations of applicants. The same law regulates the circulation of such goods both domestically and internationally.


The activities covered by the Convention are co-financed by:
1. Endowment fund of the Commission;
2. additional contributions from affiliated institutions and from third parties;
3. surpluses arising from the report referred to in Article 6, paragraph 3;
4. income from commercial activities aimed to the enhancement of the Site;
5. sponsorships;
6. funding from third parties;
7. any other type of resource relating to the purposes for which this convention is addressed.

The paleontological heritage of Monte San Giorgio, as noted also by IUCN in its report on the application of the extension to the Italian side of the site, is universally important but it is not visible. This requires support measures to present it to the general public (locals, students, tourists, scientists, naturalists,...) the peculiarities of this heritage not only in museums (Besano, Meride and Clivio),nor at a regional and trans-national level but also locally.
It is necessary to respond to the directions of UNESCO (resolution 34 Com 8B.6) and the interventions planned in the “Management Plan” in section 4.5 “PROTECT, ENHANCE AND PROMOTE THE GEOPALEONTOLOGICAL HERITAGE”identifies PRIORITY PROJECTS RELATED TO THE RECOGNIZED HERITAGE.
The projects implemented or being implemented or in the process of financing on the Italian side are consistent with the three year work plan elaborated starting from the indications of the “Management Plan” and approved during the second plenary meeting Swiss Italian (TNB) of the 26th of October 2010 (annex 3).