EUROPARC Italy / Federparchi
Year of creation: 1997
Number of members: 49 (regional, national terrestrial and marine protected areas, 1 regional authority and 1 municipality)
The core areas of work: sustainable tourism, lobbying, sustainable agriculture, transboundary cooperation
Contact person: Corrado Teofili
About their work in Italy
According to the most recent version of Italy’s National Official List of Protected Areas, Italy boasts more than 770 protected areas, which cover 2 915 000 hectares of land and 2 825 000 hectares at sea. They include a number of exceptional protected areas, such as the Gran Paradiso National Park, which is the only Italian park on the IUCN’s Green List of Protected Areas.
Italy’s protected areas have an important strategic role where biodiversity conservation is concerned. They:
- act as biodiversity reservoirs and natural laboratories for the conservation of landscape, ecosystems, habitats and species;
- contribute substantially to the maintenance and development of good practice and traditional cultures;
- safeguard, advance and promote the benefits of ecosystem services; and
- they are places where sustainable tourism strategies are tested and implemented.
There are, however, still some significant critical issues that need to be addressed where protected area management is concerned. These are:
- the need for a strategic, systematic and collaborative approach to the management of protected areas at national and local level;
- existing legislation tends to be outdated and needs to be updated;
- lack of resources and management strategies at regional level;
- there is not enough information about protected areas and their benefits for use as reference material in decision-making at various levels; and
- there are not enough economic resources for the development of marine protected areas (MPAs).
Federparchi, EUROPARC’s Italian Section, is helping to improve the issues mentioned above. They are doing this by lobbying for an update in laws concerning national protected areas, for an increase in financial resources for MPAs and for an improvement in the management of regional protected areas and the resources they receive. It also promotes and facilitates common projects concerning the management of biodiversity. The Section also aims to support its members by providing tools and activities that help to improve the management of Italian protected areas. This is done by creating partnerships, sharing conservation and sustainable development goals and investing in relevant energy sources and other resources.