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    Sardinia reacts to the Pandemics betting on a sustainable development for their coastal wetlands 10 Municipalities

    Sardinia reacts to the Pandemics betting on a sustainable development for their coastal wetlands 10 Municipalities, together with the Region of Sardinia, signed the “Contract of Oristano coastal wetlands” to protect 8000 hectares of wetlands and 267Km2 of sea


    Oristano (Sardinia, Italy), 11/02/2021 – Ten municipalities, the Regional Environment Department, the Provincial Governmentand the Reclamation Consortium formally committed themselvesto the protection and the sustainable development of the wetlands embracing the Oristano Gulf. Last week, on Friday February the 5th, in the University Headquarter - Consorzio UNO in Oristano, mayors and delegates of the 10 Municipalities which take part to the Maristanis* project (Arborea, Arbus, Cabras, Guspini, Oristano, Palmas Arborea, Riola Sardo, San Vero Milis, Santa Giusta and Terralba), along with the Councilor for the Environment of the Sardinia Region, Gianni Lampis, the representative of the Province of Oristano, Massimo Torrente, and the president of the Consorzio di Bonifica d'Oristano, Carlo Corrias, gathered to sign the Contract of Coastal Wetlands.

    A long participatory journey, with the technical support of the MEDSEA Foundationwithinthe frame of the Maristanis project, which led to identify priorities and activities to be implemented in the coming years to improve the protection and the economic enhancement of one of the most important wetlands area of the entire Mediterranean basin and its extraordinary biodiversity. In recent weeks, the municipalities have chosen the mayor of Terralba Sandro Pili and the mayor of Cabras, Andrea Abis, as coordinator and deputy coordinator of the Coordination Group, the political body that will be directing the actual implementation of the Contract. "Today we are writing an important page for the development of our Island which, in this very difficult moment and in full pandemic, offers an opportunity for redemption”, explainedthe Regional Councilor for Environment of the Sardinia Region, Gianni Lampis.

    “Within this contract we are fully involving the private sectors, confirming the fact that we want to create a recognizable brand to make the Oristano Gulf internationally known as destination. In this agreement, one of most important challenges is the ban on the use of single-use plastic from all coastal municipalities. The presence of man and the conscious use of the environmental heritage can be, with a series of shared rules, an opportunity for development that will be useful for us, but especially for those who will come after us", Lampis added.

    For Sandro Pili, Mayor of Terralba and chief of the Contract Coordination Group, the agreement marks "A fundamental step in the participatory process that the municipalities have undertaken for the protection and enhancement of the coastal wetlands of Oristano. Surely an articulated and complex path. But the within achieved agreement establishes and confirms the strong will of the member bodies to build an integrated management strategy of our wetlands, identifying as an initial priority action the analysis and improvement of the environmental quality of the waters".

    “The Cabras ponds represent a great laboratory for the ecological challenge, the sustainable management of fishing and tourism” stated Andrea Abis, mayor of Cabras. “Networking,sharing problems and solutions with the other wetlands of the Oristano area is certainly a good way to progress successfully".

    This important agreement for the protection of six wetlands of international importance has been signed in the days of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Ramsar Convention, the historical agreement which since 1971 allows to protect more than 2400 wetlands (almost 3 million square kilometers) all over the

    planet. Wetlands are extremely essential for our planet because they supply us with drinking water, they capture toxic substances, protect us from floods and fight climate change by absorbing huge amounts of carbon. Wetlands represent very important ecosystems and preserve essential habitats for many species of fish, amphibians and water birds, many of which dwell these areas during their migratory routes.

    Tobias Salathé, Senior Advisor for Europe at the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, sent a video message of greeting to the mayors of Oristano, expressing his satisfaction for the birth of the Coastal Contract: "It is difficult to find the right words to define the extraordinary value of the six Ramsar sites in your territory, among the first to have joined the Ramsar Convention. Oristano hosts the migration and reproduction of over 100 species of birds, some very rare in the Mediterranean. The Maristanis project is fundamental for the conservation and sustainable development of the Oristano wetlands. It doesn’t only aim to preserve flora and fauna, but it includes in its vision people and their work, culture and art, the deep energies of a land that has been at the center of the Mediterranean history for thousands of years. We wish you good work and every success, we are confident that your commitment will help to preserve the fragile balance of wetlands and to make everybody aware of their value and beauty”. The Oristano Gulf hosts eight Ramsar sites, for a total amount of almost 8000 hectares.

    The Sinis-Peninsula and Mal di Ventre Marine Protected Area (MPA) surround the gulf with its 267 km2. Thanks to the Contract, all signatories have created a unique legislative instrument for participatory governance, which will accompany the territory towards environmental requalification and sustainable socio-economic regeneration.


    *MARISTANIS is a project-destination of international cooperation towards the integrated management of the wetlands and coastal areas of the Gulf of Oristano and the promotion of sustainable development; co-financed by the MAVA Foundation and coordinated by the MEDSEA Foundation in collaboration with the "Penisola del Sinis Isola di Mal di Ventre" Marine Protected Area. MARISTANIS develops alongside with three other projects co-financed by MAVA in Tunisia, Montenegro and Albania. The municipalities of: Arborea | Arbus | Cabras | Guspini | Nurachi | Oristano | Palmas Arborea | Riola Sardo | San Vero Milis | Santa Giusta | Terralba. The Mediterranean Sea and Coast Foundation (MEDSEA) based in Cagliari, in Sardinia (Italy), aims at the protection of marine areas and coastal ecosystems and the conservation of cultural heritage according to the principles of sustainable development.

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