Protected areas, Natura 2000 network and Forests

MaB - Man and the Biosphere in Emilia-Romagna

Logo MaBThe Po Delta and the Tuscan-Aemilian Appennine became UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in June 2015, when the international Committee of the MaB Programme met in Paris. This prestigious status, recognized only to 13 reserves in Italy and to 651 at global level, adorns to two wide areas of inestimable historic, cultural and environmental value.

The Po Delta and the Tuscan-Aemilian Apennine are two very different territorial systems, combined by the acknowledgement of a historic and equal relation between the human community and the natural ecosystems, and from now they are even more engaged to promote activities of research, experimentation, training and education aimed at deepening the knowledge on biodiversity and improve the overall wellbeing of the resident populations.


Picture: President Giovanelli and Regional Minister Gazzolo during the conference on Mab at Expo 2015The Tuscan-Aemilian Apennine entered the network of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MaB) Reserves rightfully. The involved area has a surface of over 230.000 hectares, 10 times wider than the surface of the relative National Park, enclosed by a sort of circle represented by the Apennines ridge stretching from Cisa Pass to Radici Pass. It involves 38 Municipalities, belonging to 5 Provinces and 2 Regions, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, that are per se synonyms of mutual diversity and very high values of culture and humanity.

The tops of Alpe di Succiso, of Mount Prado and of Mount Cusna pass the 2000 meters, the forests leave the floor to rocks, lakes and mountain grasslands. Downhill, on the Aemilian side, the unique Rock of Bismantova, dominating the landscape with its vertical cliffs. The Tuscan-Aemilian Apennine praises an extraordinary richness of environments, from the grasslands and blueberry moorlands to the most impervious tops; and then lakes, waterfalls, streams, rocky cliffs; animals like wolf, mouflon, roe deer, golden eagle and plant rarities that make wide areas become true natural botanic gardens. The touristic value of this natural area counts also on high quality services and products, excellent structures for soprts and relax. To the hills, Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma are the leaders of a series of 64 certified local traditional products characterizing the landscape and the economy.


Picture: Boscoforte peninsula (author: Milko Marchetti)

The MaB area of the Po Delta is very wide and includes territories belonging to Veneto and Emilia-Romagna Regions, with a total surface of 138.000 hectares, 30% of whom in Emilia-Romagna.

The recognition as Biosphere Reserve was a missing piece for the Po Delta, a territory rich in UNESCO sites such as Venice and its lagoons, Ferrara and its delta zones, Ravenna and its paleo-Christian monuments.

Both the involved Regions preserved and valorized their territories by establishing, in different periods, two regional parks: the Veneto Po Delta Regional Park (1997) that includes the most part of the geographic delta and covers a surface of 12.000 hectares located in the Rovigo Province, and the Emilia-Romagna Po Delta Regional Park (1988) spreading from the Po riverbed until the salt marshes of Cervia and including the historic delta for a total surface of 53.978 hectares of territory, between the Provinces of Ravenna and Ferrara.

Most of the territory is included in the Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) and in the Special Protection Areas (SPAs) of Natura 2000 network: several wetlands, coastal habitats, sand dunes, forests and pines woods, very rich in biodiversity for its animal species (fauna, minor fauna, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles) and flora species.

The Delta landscape was recognized in 1999 as UNESCO world heritage cultural landscape not only for its natural reserves, but for its whole ecosystem matrix.

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last modified 2019-10-16T14:20:48+02:00
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