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5th of May, 2023


First presentation event of the LIFE A-MAR NATURA2000 Project

The first public event of the LIFE A-MAR NATURA2000 project was held on Thursday 4 May in Rome, which was attended not only by the partners, but also by those interested and passionate about marine themes.

After the greetings of the president of Federparchi-Europarc Italia Luca Santini, who reiterated the importance of the ecosystem services offered by marine sites and their value in terms of biodiversity, they spoke in conjunction with the three co-financing National Parks, Asinara, Arcipelago Toscano and Cinque Terre, respectively Stefania Pisanu, Francesca Giannini and Francesco Marchese illustrating the management and naturalistic aspects of the marine sites within their competence. Among the most relevant naturalistic peculiarities present in all three Marine Protected Areas, the presence of Posidonia oceanica, coral reef and sea caves was underlined. To these priority habitats is added another significant goal for the Tuscan Archipelago: the now certain return of the monk seal.

Next, Diego Mattioli, project manager of Triton Research, went into detail on the project actions supported by Victor Gutierrez, of Fundaciòn Biodiversidad, who instead spoke of the activities envisaged in Spain and the situation of the Natura 2000 network in the country.

The central theme of the event was, however, the sailing campaign which will start from La Spezia on 15 May and which will last two months, accompanied by 14 guided tours, 12 participatory meetings, 2 press conferences, 5 events for local managers and tour operators. Claudia Fachinetti, of Triton Research, presented the calendar of the stages which will be divided into five Tyrrhenian regions and will touch over 30 Natura 2000 marine sites. Considering that the campaign will be carried out thanks to the fundamental support of the Lega Navale Italiana, Michele Valente, communication manager, intervened specifying that the boats made available for the Italian campaign were entrusted to Lega Navale following their seizure from organized crime with the aim of being “returned” to Italian citizens for social awareness activities and, as in the case of the project , environmental.

Corrado Teofili, from Federparchi, and Giorgia Gaibani from Lipu, then presented the 33 scheduled events to illustrate the initiatives on land. In particular, 28 events have been organized by Federparchi, including participatory meetings and free guided tours, to reach a high number of participants and the various categories of stakeholders. Lipu, on the other hand, will organize four events aimed at tourists and local residents: one at the Isola delle Femmine, one at the Port of Oristano and two at the tourist port of Rome-Ostia. A participatory meeting will also be scheduled at the La Maddalena National Park, focused on pleasure tourism and the risks to biodiversity, in order to identify feasible solutions for a sustainable management of tourist flows.

Giulia Luzi, of Triton Research, finally illustrated the project APP, nearing completion, which will be a sort of TripAdvisor of the Natura 2000 Network, with the possibility for users to discover marine sites and their peculiarities through georeferencing and ad hoc cards with data and images. An interactive tool through which you can also upload your own images and reports relating to Italian and Spanish marine sites.

In conclusion, Maria Villani underlined, in addition to the cohesion of the partnership, how this ambitious project contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the National Strategy for Biodiversity to 2030, in particular with respect to the transversal areas of action that can facilitate, strengthen and contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the SNB 2030.

In the afternoon, the meeting resumed behind closed doors with a networking session that saw the participation of Carmen Gangale, of the National Contact Point Life (MASE), Víctor Gutiérrez of Fundación Biodiversidad for the LIFE INTEMARES project, Marzia Mattioli of Legambiente for LIFE MUSCLES, Eleonora Ledda of Triton Research for LIFE PINNA, Antonella Arcangeli of Ispra for LIFE CONCEPTU MARIS, Massimiliano Bottaro of the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station for LIFE ELIFE, Guido Gnone of Costa Edutainment, for TursioMed and InterMed and finally Maria Antonietta Pinto for LASPEH.