Strategy for the Natura 2000 Network of the Umbria Region – LIFE13 NAT/IT/000371

Background
The Umbria region is located between the Mediterranean and Continental biogeographical regions. These areas are rich in biodiversity and include many endemic species. Such diversity is reflected in the 102 Natura 2000 sites accounting for more than 15% of the regional surface.

Project description
The main output of the project is the production of a comprehensive strategic plan for the management of the entire regional Natura 2000 network.
The strategy will put in place an integrated, unified and coordinated management of the Natura 2000 Network, introducing new measures for management, conservation and enhancement of the landscape in accordance with the European Landscape Convention, and other measures to develop “green” employment and tourism, consistent with the preservation of habitats and protected species.
The strategy will help to ensure the attainment and maintenance of the favorable conservation status of habitats and species of Natura 2000 through the identification of measures for the conservation, restoration of ecological connectivity and functionality, and the identification of the sources of funding at the European, national and regional level.

Specific project objectives are to:

  • Produce a realistic overview of the value of the Natura 2000 network in Umbria, not only from the point of view of nature conservation and in terms of ecosystem services, but also from a socio-economic point of view;
  • Ensure effective and integrated management of the regional Natura 2000 network;
  • To promote a greater public awareness of the benefits of Natura 2000 and ecosystem services, as a result of the development of a communication campaign for the general public, other stakeholders and schools;
  • Promote a shared management of the network through the engagement of all relevant sectors including agriculture, commercial forestry, but also the civil society, through actions aimed at public consultation and involvement of stakeholders, as well as the guidance documents developed specifically for farmers and foresters;
  • Increase the number of green jobs, to enhance the effective sustainable development of the territory;
  • Contribute to the development of integrated project design that will be introduced in the next program LIFE + 2014-2020, through the definition of pilot integrated projects;
  • Provide an effective contribution to the achievement of the objectives of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 and in particular of the headline target of halting the loss of biodiversity and improve the state of Europe’s species, habitats, ecosystems and the services they provide over the next decade, while stepping up the EU’s contribution to averting global biodiversity loss;
  • Put into practice the principles of the European Landscape Convention, as well as the pan-European biological and landscape diversity strategy, which aim to ensure that the ecosystems on which species depend continue to function, and to bring together the conservation of biodiversity and the landscapes into an integrated framework.

This will be achieved through:

  • Production of an estimate of the socio-economic value of the regional Natura 2000 network;
  • Analysis of the green jobs connected to the regional Natura 2000 network;
  • Preparation of a financial plan for the management of the Natura 2000 network in Umbria between 2014 and 2020;
  • Production of a programmatic document for the management of the regional Natura 2000 network;
  • Production of a scientific monitoring plan;
  • Information campaign on the regional Natura 2000 Network;
  • Public consultation and involvement of stakeholders.

Partners
Regione Umbria, Associazione Centro Turistico Studentesco e giovanile – CTS, Comunità Ambiente, Università degli Studi di Perugia – Dipartimento di Chimica, Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università di Perugia – Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università degli Studi dell’Aquila – Dipartimento Ingegneria Civile, Edile-Architettura, Ambientale, Università degli Studi di Camerino, Scuola di Architettura e Design.

Duration
October 2014 – September 2017