Protected areas in Italy, the WWF complaint: “Politics and local interests command, state powers over nature weakened”

Protected areas in Italy, the WWF complaint: “Politics and local interests command, state powers over nature weakened”
Protected areas in Italy, the WWF complaint: “Politics and local interests command, state powers over nature weakened”

If an important part of the sites Italians which have been chosen by the EU to be part of Natura 2000 network in reality it is outside the system of protected areas and is managed “with questionable or deficient methods”, to the point that there have been numerous reports at the community level, nature management within these areas is not exempt from conditioning politicians. On the occasion of World Environment Day and the feast of WWF Oasis, the association presents an analysis on Italian protected areas thirty years of the framework law and opens a building site of work to ask for a modern nature conservation strategy, which goes far beyond the areas already protected. The 1991 legislation, explains the association, “certainly gave gods results“But” lower than expected “: 871 protected areas made for a total of over 3 million hectares protected on land and about 228 thousand hectares at sea, but about 50% of the Natura 2000 areas are not among them. It is not enough to reach the European target of having 30% of the land and the sea protected by 2030.

30 YEARS AFTER THE FRAMEWORK LAW – The analysis, elaborated by the new Wwf Study Center, specially constituted and who will coordinate the work site, starts from the assumption that, already by 2020, a national policy more organic and coherent for protected areas, but this was not the case. From ’91 to today there have been many attempts to modify the law painting organically, but they are all gone losers, while intervening from time to time with different rules (such as those financial or those for simplifications). “These changes – explains the WWF – especially for the National Parks, have altered the initial institutional balance between state and local competences ”. Today i National Parks, as well as the Regional ones, have profoundly different characteristics, “the fruit in large part of political agreements and not the strict application of the identification criteria provided for by the Framework Law “. For the WWF a “reclassification protected areas and those of the Natura 2000 Network more adherent to the six categories established by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature “could create a system more consistent.

PARKS PREY OF POLITICS – The WWF has repeatedly denounced one shift of the ‘governance‘of national parks which has weakened the state’s powers in the matter of storage of nature, as well as sanctioned by the Constitution. “The modification of the composition of board of directors from 12 members (7 in state representation and 5 local) to 8 members (4 in state representation and 4 local), of the procedures for appointing president, the designations and appointments made by the various ministers – reports the WWF – have slipped the protected areas into the orbit of policies and of interests locals, while the request to proceed with the appointment of the directors of National Park and of Marine Protected Area through a public competition by qualifications and exams “. Often, in fact, ministries appointed presidents who were direct local expression and designated how representatives state local representatives of the parties of the majority of Government pro tempore. “To the representatives of the Community of the Park no special skills are required – it is explained in the report – so no local experts are designated but usually mayors, councilors or councilors who, pursuant to the statute of all the Parks, expire when they lose tale charge“. To explain the effects of these changes, the report tells the story of Gennargentu Park (established and then suspended), that of Stelvio (tripartite between the Lombardy Region and the Autonomous Provinces) and that of Po Delta “Which has been taken away from the perspective of park national“. And then it gives a picture of the unrealized national parks, despite the studies done and the proposals of perimeter elaborated (Costa Teatina, Egadi, Aeolian, Iblei and, more recently, Matese e Portofino).

PROTECTED MARINE AREAS, CINDERELLA OF THE FRAMEWORK LAW – Also from this new report of the Wwf it then emerges that the major weakness of the framework law is constituted by the Marine Protected Areas. The 27 marine protected areas and the 2 submerged parks protect a total of about 228 thousand hectares of sea. Only 4.53% of the territorial waters is covered by protected areas in various capacities, by Marine Protected Areas or Natura 2000 sites, while the community objectives require reaching 30% of the sea effectively protected by 2030, it is essential to intervene on two aspects. “There fishing illegal and pollution from the ground requires more incisive and continuous action “explains the WWF, according to which it is necessary increase the protected area at sea, but also improve the effectiveness of management of the same marine protected areas and Sites Nature 2000 existing “.

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