The Community program LIFE funding was established in 1992 to contribute to the development and implementation of Community legislation and policy on the environment and directs its actions from the beginning to the preservation of nature, and the protection of habitats and species concerned the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC and Directive 79/409/EEC Birds. Since its inception, the LIFE Programme, projects funded with 3115, ie 2.2 billion euro contributed to environmental protection, one of the spearheads of the EU funding for the environment.
The European Union in 2007 has established a financing instrument for the environment, called LIFE + (Life Plus) for the period from 1 January 2007 to December 31, 2013 and having as general objective to contribute to the implementation, to updating and to the development of policy and legislation on the environment, including the integration of environment into other policies, thereby contributing to sustainable development.
The LIFE + shall support the implementation of the 6 th EU on the environment including the thematic strategies, and finance measures and projects with European added value in the Member States.
The LIFE+ Programme consists of the following three components:
1) Nature & Biodiversity: projects that contribute to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and Communication “Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010″.
2) Environmental Policy & Governance: innovative or demonstration projects related to EU environmental objectives.
3) Communication & Information: dissemination campaigns on the EU’s environmental issues and awareness campaigns on forest fire prevention.
RI.CO.PR.I. Restoration and conservation of dry grasslands in southern and central Italy
The main objective of RICOPRI is the restoration and conservation of two priority habitat related to dry grassland having the following code: 6210 “Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) ( * important orchid sites) and 6220 “Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero- Brachypodietea”. The first habitat, Festuco-Brometalia grasslands, present in almost all EU member states, are among the most species-rich plant communities in Europe and contain a large number of rare and endangered species. The second habitat, Pseudo-steppe of Thero-Brachypodietea has a typical Mediterranean distribution, with a significant area located in Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta. An additional objective is the conservation of the butterfly species associated with these habitats, in particular Eriogaster catax and Melanargia arge.
Two provinces, one regional natural park, one university and one farmers union will share their efforts to reach the following objectives:
– Apply best practice and demonstration actions to protect and restore the two habitats and the butterfly species associated to them within the three Natura 2000 sites.
– Reduce/eliminate the threats to the habitats/species, in particular abandonment and/or unregulated grazing and invasion of alien species.
– Establish a common approach for the long-term protection of these habitats based on sound monitoring of the two habitats and of the butterflies species which depend on them
– Increase the level of awareness of local population and stakeholders on the importance of these habitats.
– Estimation of the economic value of the two habitats, both in terms of products (milk, meat and derivates) and of ecosystem services, taking into account the documentation produced internationally, such as, for instance the System for Environmental and Economic Accounting, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and the TEEB.
The project will take place in three sites on the Apennines, two within the Rome Province and one within the Potenza province, both part of the Mediterranean biogeographical region.
Provincia di ROMA
Il SIC “Monte Ruffi falls within the municipalities of Comuni di Cerreto Laziale e Ciciliano.
Il SIC “Monte Guadagnolo” lies, for most of its extension into the territory of the town of Capranica Prenestina.
Provincia di POTENZA
Il SIC-ZPS Dolomiti di Pietrapertosa falls within the municipalities of Pietrapertosa and of Castelmezzano.
Actions and means involved:
Surveys will be carried out on the quality and state of pastures, number and type of livestock units, in order to collect data useful for the grazing plan.
Three grazing plans will be prepared, one specific for each of the three Natura 2000 sites
object of the project.
The improvement of the conservation status of the habitats/butterfly species as a result of the
actions carried out will be evaluated through ex post studies.
The main action is the implementation of the grazing plans in collaboration with local breeders.
This is aimed at developing a rational grazing in order to avoid over- and under-grazing and to
achieve multiple benefits for both habitats/butterflies and livestock.