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World Wetlands Days 2020, Oristano answers with its many voices

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Two days to travel across the water lands of Maristanis and imagine their sustainable future. The World Wetlands Day, organized in Sardinia by the MEDSEA foundation, started on Saturday 1 February at the municipal civic center of Santa Giusta, heart of the 2020 edition, with the conference entitled "Protection of nature and fishing in the lands of water of Oristano ". The call of mayor Antonello Figus to give birth to new synergies among all stakeholders, municipalities, fish and tourism sectors and environmental protection groups, was welcomed by the speakers, engaged throughout the morning in a long and fruitful discussion.

Alessio Satta, president of the MEDSEA foundation, recalled how the need for environmentally friendly fishing is supported by supranational institutions such as the European Community and the UN, and how wetlands are central in the struggle against climate change: "The Sardinian coast have been equipped to receive the mistral wind. But we are witnessing more and more important storm swells brought by libeccio and sirocco. Such an important challenge can only have a choral response". A stimulus, the latter, welcomed by the regional councilor for agriculture and agro-pastoral reform Gabriella Murgia, ready to gather financial resources in order to preserve "not only the economy, but the culture, the tradition and the identity of the Oristano".

While Giorgio Massaro, MEDSEA environmental expert, exposed the scientific data collected on fishing in the main ponds of the area, and the alien species that endanger their balance, Mauro Tuzzolino, president of FLAG Pescando, described all the projects carried out by the local action group, having as a guideline a shift in the fisherman, "true keeper of the pond", to new forms and business prospects. The fishing industry also spoke with the voice of Mauro Steri from Lega Coop, sure of the potential inherent in a symbiosis between fishing and tourism, and Carla Cubadda, head of food security at Nieddittas, a company at the forefront of sustainable production practices. The need for coherent planning emerged in the intervention of Giorgio Pisanu, director of the fisheries and aquaculture service of the Sardinia Autonomous Region. The year nine classes of Santa Giusta’s schools also listened to the workshop.

In the afternoon, many onlookers reached the banks of the Sal’e Porcus pond, where Gabriele Pinna, president of the LIPU Oristano, guided them in the observation of flamingos and cranes. Meanwhile, at the civic center of Santa Giusta, Marco and Davide Pili, artisans and fishermen, instructed the participants on the art of building the fassonis, the reed-made fishing boats used since the Neolithic era. In the room adorned with nets and pots, the jury of the photographic contest organized by AFNI, the association of Italian naturalist photographers, met on Sunday morning to choose the winner of twenty-four hours hunt of a picture capable of portraying biodiversity in the gulf’s six Ramsar sites. The first prize went to Federico Pastore, thanks to the extremely elegant, grazing flight of a seagull over the water surfce. Sunday evening also saw the birth of "Friends of Maristanis", the initial nucleus of the tourist facilities which embraced the sustainability practices proposed by MEDSEA, entrusted to the territorial economist Luca Santarossa. On stage the certificates were handed out by Maria Pala, environmental expert of the foundation and, together with Claudia Desogus and Piera Pala, organizer of all the activities related to the World Wetlands days. The evening ended with the splendid voice of Francesca Loche, accompanied on keyboards by Alessio Sanna.

The appointments dedicated to the water lands of Oristanese do not end here: the month of February will still host conferences, guided tours and exhibitions. The program can be easily downloaded from the home page of our website.