WWF launches a campaign to regenerate Italian nature

Health, prosperity, the fight against climate change at the center of the new WWF "ReNature Italy" campaign

© WWF Italia

Italy has 10 years to regenerate its nature, and recompose its great mosaic of biodiversity. This is the spirit with which WWF launches a new campaign, ‘ReNature Italy’; it is a great project for the nature of our country that holds together the ambitious vision on how we will have to transform Italy between now and 2030. There are four cornerstones and keywords: connection, restoration, protection and rewild, that is the return in nature of important species.

According to Alessandra Prampolini, director of WWF Italia, “at a time when we have the opportunity to translate into action what the pandemic has taught us, namely that natural ecosystems are crucial for our well-being and our lives, we must do what we can to give space back to nature, rebuilding what we have destroyed. Our message is simple: we must regenerate Italy, moving from a ‘nature negative’ system to a ‘nature positive’ challenge “.

ReNature Italy is the concrete answer to the alarms on the loss of biodiversity at a global and national level: 1 in 2 vertebrate species in Italy is threatened with extinction, 86% of European habitats are in a poor state of conservation, we lose every day 16 hectares of natural land under the pressure of concrete and decay.

Fertile soil, ecosystems with their services, small and large habitats are transformed and destroyed: hundreds of natural tiles are lost daily, and silently, in every corner of the country, and the vital connections of an increasingly fragile ecosystem are eroded little by little. and our capital of nature. For this reason, the first request to the WWF institutions is to bring the role of nature back to the center of politics, dedicating significant funds from the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) to the conservation and restoration of nature, taking up the challenge of the European Strategy for the Biodiversity and launching the New National Strategy for Biodiversity by 2030 to recover the nature we have lost.

The great ReNature Italy project will improve the effectiveness of existing protected areas, reaching the protection of 30% of the national territory, with a 10% fully protected in line with the requirements of the European Biodiversity Strategy, and making all forests safe. oldest and most natural in Italy. But this is not enough: it will be necessary to reconstruct and complete the national ecological network by focusing on 3 major ecological corridors – Alpine, Apennine and Po valley – capable of connecting protected areas and supporting biodiversity even in the face of the impacts of climate change and safeguarding natural capital. This leap in quality is possible above all by regenerating at least 15% of the national territory, re-naturing at least 1,600 km of rivers (from which we have taken away about 2,000 km2 of living space in the last 50 years) and regenerating nature in at least 10% of the agricultural area. , primarily for pollinators.

© A.Gambarini WWFUS

Among the protagonists of this ambitious project, many species symbolizing Italian biodiversity such as wolves, bears, otters, very rare birds of prey such as Bonelli’s eagle, plant species that survive in small areas such as the Nebrodi fir or the Bosnian pine. All species that still need to be defended from poaching and from the difficult coexistence with local economies and other daily threats. In the ReNature campaign there is also room to dream of the return of the lynx, the big cat that has almost disappeared from our fauna, and of the Italian deer, barricaded with just 300 individuals on the edge of the Po delta.

“No recovery fund will ferry us out of the crisis in a lasting way if we do not address the roots of the problems we are experiencing, including the destruction of nature plays a prominent role – continues Prampolini – Natural capital, biodiversity, ecosystem services, must enter into the facts and concretely in the funds for recovery and resilience, adopting the challenge proposed by the WWF with the ReNature projects. We also seize this key moment in our country: today we have the opportunity to rethink our development model thanks to the funds and investments that are born as NextGenerationEu.

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