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Sardinian Wetlands, the best way to protect them is "to manage them"

Wetlands are increasingly important aquatic ecosystems, knowing them better is the first step to protect them, but that's not all. "We need a management tool" to prevent them from being lost or compromised by carelessness, fragmented and discontinuous management, clumsy interventions, as has happened globally in the last 100 years "with over 64% of these basins having been lost". 

Wetlands and parks were the discussed topics at the conference "Parks as a management tool for wetlands protected by the RAMSAR Convention" which took place over the weekend in the Saltwork of the Molentargius park in Cagliari. In the conference, organized by the MEDSEA Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Defense of the Environment of the Sardinia Region, in the week that launches the MEDSEA events program of the World Wetlands Sardinia, with over 40 initiatives throughout the territory for over 80 appointments in ponds and lagoons. 

“The EU strategy on biodiversity is clear - explains Giuseppe Dodaro from the MEDSEA Foundation - by 2030 we must reach 30% of protected territory in the EU. A much higher value than the current one, Member States must establish new protected areas". 

According to the Regional Councilor for the defense of the environment, Marco Porcu "it is important to recover the original relationship between man and nature" and parks are certainly one of the tools. For this reason, the Region is willing to support "existing parks and those to come, especially parks that are committed to managing wetlands of international importance". 

Among the most recent examples of natural parks in Sardinia, that of Tepilora - officially established in 2014, falls within the territories of 4 municipalities: Bitti, Lodè, Torpè and Posada - which brought its own experience. For the director of Tepilora, Marianna Mossa, the establishment of the park was an "excellent result" for the area, among the benefits of being able to catalyze a lot of funding for interventions in the area, but also because the park itself allows the promotion of the territory on a “national and international scale”. Likewise, the feedback from the communities of the 4 municipalities is also "very positive". 

For Renzo Ponti, mayor of Nurachi and representative of the Coordination of the coastal wetlands Contract of the Oristano area (which includes 11 municipalities, the province and the Oristano area reclamation consortium) "the time is ready to create a large part of the Oristano wetlands - he says - and I am convinced that we can do it”. However, he warns "administrators must have the strength to take steps forward in the face of resistance from the park idea" and keep the dialogue open. Among the driving forces towards the enhancement of wetlands, according to Ponti, are "the young'' who "will drag us along: the direction is that of the enhancement of wetlands that coordinate for the social development of the territory". 

"MEDSEA will continue to work at the forefront for the protection and promotion of wetlands through the Waterlands project - concludes Manuela Puddu, contact person for wetlands projects for the MEDSEA Foundation - which was born from the desire to collect and share the "experience gained in the Gulf of Oristano with Maristanis by putting all the Ramsar sites in Sardinia online. Only by joining forces can attention be paid to these very important ecosystems". 


World Wetlands Day Sardinia 2023, a full calendar of events  

80 events, including excursions, workshops, laboratories and exhibitions on the theme of ponds and lagoons from 1 to 26 February 2023 on the "World Wetlands Day Sardinia". The calendar of events put together by the MEDSEA Foundation and over 40 partners including businesses, associations and administrations, to celebrate Sardinia's ponds and lagoons. The program of events on the "wetlands" in Sardinia follows the global initiatives of the World Wetlands Day, this year at the 52nd anniversary of the RAMSAR convention which recognizes the international importance of wetlands and identifies the richest areas point of view of their avifauna biodiversity. This year's theme is "It's Time to restore Wetlands".

Sardinia, with 9 RAMSAR areas out of 57 areas identified in Italy and as much as 17% of the total national area with over 13,000 hectares. Sardinia is one of the regions with the greatest quantity and extension of these important basins, mostly coastal (third after Emilia Romagna and Tuscany). 






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