Natura 2000

  • Italian

Arid Grasslands (click here to download the PDF)

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The Natura 2000 Network

Natura 2000 is an ecological network spread throughout the territory of the European Union, as established under Directive 92/43/EEC Habitat” to ensure the long-term maintenance of natural habitats and species of flora and fauna threatened or rare at Community level. The Natura 2000 network comprises Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) established by the Member States in accordance with the Habitats Directive, and also includes Special Protection Areas (SPAs) established pursuant to Directive 79/409/EEC “Birds”.

The areas that make up the Natura 2000 network are not strictly protected reserves where human activities are excluded, the Habitats Directive aims to ensure the protection of nature while also “taking into account economic, social and cultural requirements and regional and local characteristics”. Private entities can be owners of Natura 2000 sites, ensuring sustainable management from both ecologically and economically. The Directive recognizes the value of all those areas in which the age-old human presence and its traditional activities has allowed the maintenance of a balance between human activities and nature. For example, many plant and animal species now rare and endangered are linked to agricultural areas. Their survival is connected to the continuation and to the enhancement of traditional activities, such as grazing or non-intensive agriculture. The title of the Directive specifies the goal of preserving not only the natural but also semi-natural habitats (such as areas of traditional agriculture, the woods used, pastures, etc.). All information regarding the Natura 2000 network, the Habitats and Birds Directives, the sites in Italy and in other European Union countries can be found on the European website http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature and also, in consultation with the Manual of Italian interpretation of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC “Habitats”.

 

How do you build Natura 2000

 

The process leading to the identification of SAC Special Areas of Conservation” is divided into three phases:

1. According to the criteria set out in Annex III of the Habitats Directive, each Member State shall identify sites – called Sites of Community Importance proposed (SCIp) – which have habitat and species listed in Annexes I and II to the Directive. In these attachments certain habitats and species are considered a priority for nature conservation at European level and are marked with an asterisk. There are national and Community guides that facilitate the process of site choice by the detectors. The data are transmitted to the European Commission through a standard form drawn up for each site complete with maps.

2. On the basis of the national lists of SCI, the Commission shall adopt the list of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) , one for each biogeographic region in which is divided the European Union. To analyze the proposals of the several States, the Commission has organized scientific seminars for each biogeographic region, which was attended by the representatives of the Member States, independent experts and representatives of non-governmental organizations at the European level. During the biogeographical seminars were controlled the sites proposed by each State to verify that they had, in the biogeographical region concerned, a sufficiently representative sample of each species and habitats there for their overall protection at Community level. At the end of the consultations with the Member States the Commission may consider that there are still some reservations, or that there are still some habitats and species not adequately represented in the network of certain countries or in need of further scientific analysis.

3. Once adopted the lists of SCI, Member States must designate all sites as “Special Areas of Conservation” as soon as possible and in any case within a maximum period of six years, giving priority to the most threatened sites and/or with greater relevance for conservation purposes.

In Italy the identification of SCI is the responsibility of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces, which transmit data to the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea organized according to the European Standard Form complete with maps. The Ministry, after verification of the completeness and consistency of the data, transmits the data base and the maps to the Commission. After the publication of the lists of the SCI by the Commission, the Ministry publishes lists of Italian SCI with a decree. Then the Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea designates the SCI Special Areas of Conservation, by decree adopted in agreement with each region and autonomous province concerned.

 

For sites SPAs identified under the Birds Directive, the procedure is shorter: they are appointed directly by the Member States as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and automatically enter part of the Natura 2000 network. The identification and demarcation of SPAs is based entirely on scientific criteria. They are considered most suitable territories for conservation of the species listed in Annex I and migratory species not listed, which regularly return. Data on SPAs are transmitted to the Commission through the use of the same forms used for SCIp, complete with maps. In case of insufficient designation of SPAs by a State, the Commission may activate an infringement procedure. In Italy the identification of SPAs is up to the Regions and Autonomous Provinces, which transmit data to the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea; The Ministry, after verification of the completeness and consistency of the information acquired, transmits the data to the European Commission. (source: Ministry of the Environment http://www.minambiente.it/).

 

The Natura 2000 network – in Italy


In Italy, the SCI and the SPAs in total, cover about 21% of the national territory. To date have been identified by the 2287 Italian Regions Sites of Community Importance (SCI), and 601 Special Protection Areas (SPAs), of which 323 are sites of type C, or SCI coincident with SPA. Within the Natura 2000 sites in Italy are protected total: 132 habitat, 88 species of flora and 99 fauna species (of which 21 are mammals, 9 reptiles, 14 amphibians, 24 fish, 31 invertebrates) under the Habitats Directive; approximately 381 species of birds under the Birds Directive.


In Basilicata region there are a total of 53 Natura 2000 sites of which 17 sites SPAs and 50 SCIs, because 14 SPAs sites overlap with the SCI. The overall extension of Natura 2000 sites in Basilicata is 170,479 hectares or 17.1% of the regional area. In particular, the total area of ​​SPAs sites is 160,540 ha, or 16.1% of the regional area, and the surface of the SCI is equal to 61,179 hectares or 6.1% of the regional surface, taking into account the overlaps mentioned above.


In Lazio region there are a total of 200 Natura 2000 sites, of which 39 sites SPAs and 182 SCI, because 21 sites SPAs overlap with the SCI. The overall extension of Natura 2000 sites in the Lazio region is 441,634 hectares or 25.7 % of the regional area. In particular, the total area of SPAs sites is 407,910 ha or 23.7% of the regional surface, and the surface of the SCI is 143,123 hectares or 8.3% of the regional area, taking into account the overlaps mentioned above. The data for the two regions and the remaining other Italian regions are shown below in the following table (source: Ministry Of The Environment – http://www.minambiente.it/).

 

REGIONE

ZPS

SIC

Natura 2000***

siti

sup.

(ha)

%

siti

sup.

(ha)

%

siti

sup.

(ha)

%

** Abruzzo

5

307.924

28,5%

54

256.003

23,7%

58

390.494

36,2%

Basilicata

17

160.540

16,1%

50

61.179

6.1%

53

170.479

17,1%

Bolzano

17

142.594

19,3%

40

149.898

20,3%

40

149.898

20,3%

Calabria

6

262.257

17,4%

179

86.102

5,7%

185

320.048

21,2%

Campania

30

218.102

16,0%

108

363.556

26,8%

124

397.981

29,3%

Emilia-Romagna

81

185.584

8,4%

134

235.929

10,7%

153

265.267

12,0%

Friuli Venezia Giulia

8

116.450

14,8%

57

132.194

16,8%

61

149.758

19,1%

** Lazio

39

407.910

23,7%

182

143.123

8,3%

200

441.634

25,7%

Liguria

7

19.615

3,6%

126

145.822

27.0%

133

147.748

27,3%

Lombardia

67

297.425

12,5%

193

224.200

9,4%

241

372.154

15,6%

** Marche

27

126.453

13.0%

76

98.503

10.1%

96

139.064

14,3%

** Molise

12

66.019

14,9%

85

97.750

22,0%

88

118.724

26,8%

* Piemonte

50

307.940

12,1%

122

282.405

11,1%

141

396.837

15,6%

Puglia

10

263.677

13,6%

77

465.520

24,1%

83

474.597

24,5%

Sardegna

37

295.903

12,3%

89

477.683

19.8%

120

567.806

23,6%

Sicilia

29

388.037

15,1%

219

457.364

17,8%

234

603.118

23,5%

Toscana

61

192.627

8,4%

132

376.041

16.4%

149

390.720

17,0%

Trento

19

127.133

20,5%

135

154.314

24.9%

142

176.181

28,4%

Umbria

7

47.244

5,6%

97

118.442

14,0%

103

127.204

15,0%

* Valle d'Aosta

5

86.380

26,5%

28

71.678

22,0%

30

98.933

30,3%

Veneto

67

359.869

19,5%

104

373.144

20,3%

130

418.019

22,7%

TOTALE

601

4.379.683

14,5%

2287

4.770.847

15,8%

2564

6.316.664

21,0%

 

 

* the site IT1201000 falls partly in Piedmont and the Aosta Valley;


** the site IT7110128 falls in Abruzzo, Lazio and Marche and the site IT7120132 falls in Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise;


*** the number and the extension of Natura 2000 sites per region was calculated excluding the overlaps between the SCI and the SPAs.

 

Data updated in October 2011 (source: Ministry of Environment http://www.minambiente.it/).