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    World Environment Day: the Gulf of Oristano at the forefront for UN guidelines

    On the occasion of the UN World Environment Day, which this year coincides with the beginning of the decade for the restoration of ecosystems, the Contract of Oristano coastal wetlands was presented at a national level. The agreement, born within the Maristanis project and signed on February 5, 2021 by ten municipalities surrounding the Gulf of Oristano, aims at the protection and the sustainable development of the wetlands embracing the Oristano Gulf.

    At the round table organized by the MEDSEA Foundation, held online, were present the representatives of the institutions involved in the Contract as Coordination group and some of the most important experts of research and environmental policies in Italy. Lorenzo Ciccarese, head of the Biodiversity Management and Conservation sector for the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), explained how the Contract of Oristano coastal wetlands fits perfectly into the European Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and the commitments that Italy will take on environmental challenges during the G20 scheduled in Venice starting next 20 July. “Supporting the enhancement of territories through the protection of natural resources is today the only possible direction. The territory of Oristano has moved in time, and by involving communities and individuals will be able to obtain excellent results both for the environment and for the community, "said Ciccarese.

    Its strategic vision was then concretely expressed by Alessandro Ciccolella, director of the Marine Protected Area of Torre Guaceto, who was able to illustrate the similarities between the Gulf of Oristano and the Salento coast. Here the protected marine area overlooks a territory strongly characterized by agricultural production and fishing. The creation of the park and the enhancement of the rural territory carried out by the protected area have made it possible, thanks to the birth of two Slow Food presidia and a brand for agricultural and fish products, to simultaneously promote environmental conservation and sustainable development.

    Massimo Bastiani, coordinator of the National Table of the River’s Contract, the assembly that encompasses all the participatory governance of water bodies, told about the constant dialogue between the National Table and the Italian and European parliament, and the excellent perspectives and support for the territories that have embraced the philosophy of shared administration of the environmental aspects of the territory.

    Piera Pala, Francesca Etzi and Giuseppe Dodaro, who hosted the meeting as representatives of MEDSEA Foundation, which supported all the institutions and municipalities forward the achievement of the Contract of Oristano coastal wetlands. "The path that led to the birth of the Contract lasted a year and a half, but now the Gulf of Oristano is part of the avantgarde that in Italy as in Europe, and soon in the world, will be aligned in facing the environmental challenges that await future decades. Conservation of nature and sustainable development can and must go hand in hand”, said Dodaro, after having illustrated with his colleague the process and the nature of the contract signed last February.

    The Costal Contract is a voluntary instrument of negotiated participation. At the moment it is adopted by eleven Italian regions with more than 93 contracts in progress and eleven already signed. Six are the macro-goals that the Contract aims to achieve in the Oristano area. These include the improvement of the ecological status of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), the protection and conservation of the biodiversity of the territory, the requalification of the natural and urban landscape and the enhancement of the cultural heritage.

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