Technical assistance to AIPo for the design of an integrated LIFE project (NatConnect2030) for the improvement of ecological connections in the Po river basin

  • Nature Governance
  • Agenzia Interregionale per il fiume Po (AIPo)
  • Italy
  • 2022

In the context of the LIFE SNAP proposal, nominated “NatConnect2030”, AIPo has entrusted Etifor with the task of supporting the candidature of innovative actions. The proposal is coordinated by the Lombardy Region and involves also the Regions of Veneto, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, the Autonomous Province of Trento as well as other regional agencies and non-institutional bodies. NatConnect2030 aims to develop actions to improve the ecological connections for the implementation of the regional PAFs for the Natura 2000 Network.

The problem

In northern Italy and particularly in the Po Valley, the anthropisation and ecological fragmentation of the territory constitutes a serious threat to biodiversity. Rivers are important ecological corridors and often they are the only connection routes between protected areas. In fact, often the ecological networks (regional, provincial or local) are developed precisely from hydrographic networks. In this scenario, management practices play a key role to ensure the full ecological functionality of this type of blue infrastructure.

The project

The LIFE SNAP NatConnect2030 proposal aims to set up a strategic project for the coordinated implementation of regional PAFs and for the improvement of ecological connections between the Natura 2000 Network sites located within the Po river basin. To do this, it is important to include in partnership not only the institutional bodies, but also the regional or interregional agencies (e.g., AIPo) that are more operational and have the possibility to intervene on the territory. To strengthen the elements of ecological connection, thanks to the support of Etifor, the following actions have been identified and included in the proposal by AIPo:

  • preliminary analysis of the documentation produced at the regional level, identification of good practices, involvement of stakeholders and definition of interregional guidelines on riparian and riverbank vegetation management;
  • training for the implementation of the guidelines;
  • planning and implementation of pilot multifunctional maintenance operations on 160 km of riparian and/or embankment vegetation embankment vegetation.

Our contribution

Within the project, Etifor is responsible for the design of the different action, the involvement of territorial offices, the presentation of the proposal and verification of the feasibility of the actions, the writing of the working package and the definition of the budget. In addition, Etifor took care of facilitating the relations between the different entities in the partnership.