Coastal Contract

Governance solution for the integrated management of wetlands in the Gulf of Oristano

Sustainable Development Goals:


What is it?

The Oristano Coastal Wetlands Contract is a voluntary act of shared commitment to improve the protection and implement an integrated management of the wetlands of the Gulf of Oristano (Ramsar and Natura 2000 sites).

This legislative instrument is expressly governed by the national legislation in art. 68 bis of the Consolidated Laws ENV - Environmental Conservation (Leg. Decree 152/2006), as well as, at the local level, by the Regional guidelines for the activation of the River Contracts, adopted by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia in June 2019, with the aim of provide information on legal, regulatory and management aspects of the Contract.


Areas covered: 

    • 6 Ramsar sites in the Gulf of Oristano: Pond of Sale e’ Porcus, Pond of Mistras, Pond of Cabras, Pond of Pauli Maiori, Pond of S’Ena Arrubia, Ponds of Corru S’Ittiri, Marceddì, San Giovanni. 
    • 1 Marine Protected Area / 1 Specially Protected Area of ​​Mediterranean Importance: AMP Penisola del Sinis - Island of Mal di Ventre 
    • Natura 2000 sites:  
    • SIC (Pond of Sale ’e Porcus; Pond of Putzu Idu, Sa Salina Manna and Pauli Marigosa; San Giovanni di Sinis; Pond of Cabras; Pond of Mistras; Pond of Santa Giusta; Pond of Pauli Maiori; Sassu - Cirras; Pond of S'Ena Arrubia and neighboring territories; Pond of Corru S'Ittiri)  
    • ZPS (Pond of Sale ‘e Porcus; Island of Mal di Ventre; Pond of Cabras; Pond of Mistras; Pond of Pauli Maiori Pond of S’Ena Arrubia; Corru S’Ittiri, Pond of San Giovanni and Marceddì) 



      • September 2017

The Swiss Foundation MAVA for the Nature, as part of its Action Plan for the Mediterranean "Enhancing the conservation of coastal wetlands", approved the MARISTANIS project on the Integrated Management of the six Ramsar Areas of the Gulf of Oristano. Co-funded by MAVA, the project is coordinated by the MEDSEA, Mediterranean Sea and Coast Foundation, and implemented with the collaboration of the Marine Protected Area of Sinis - Island of Mal di Ventre and the support of relevant international organizations operating in the Mediterranean basin (MedPan, MedWet, Plan Bleu, MedINA and PAP / RAC, BirdLife and Tour du Valat). The Project encourages the active participation in the pursuit of the expected results of the Municipalities of Arborea, Arbus, Cabras, Guspini, Oristano, Palmas Arborea, Riola Sardo, San Vero Milis, Santa Giusta and Terralba;

      • February 2018 |Oristano

The Municipalities taking part in Maristanis project, gathered in the Local Consultation Group, have expressed their willingness to start a participatory decision-making process aimed at the integrated and sustainable management of the coastal marine habitats of the wetlands of the Gulf of Oristano, through the definition of a Coastal Wetlands Contract Oristano based on the model of river contracts (pursuant to art.68 bis of the Consolidated Environmental Law) to overcome the difficulties they systematically encounter in the phases of adoption, updating and operational implementation of the management tools of the wetlands areas concerned (Management Plans SCI / SPA / SAC of the individual Natura 2000 sites);

      • October 2019 | San VeroMilis

By signing the Declaration of Intent, the Municipalities have undertaken to draw up an Action Program in which the planned actions are described, the actors involved in the process are identified, as well as the financial resources necessary for the implementation of the planned actions and the objectives which, in consideration of each single action, are expected to be achieved within a specified timeframe;  

      • from October 2019 to January 2021

Bilateral and plenary meetings, in presence and online (following the Covid-19 health emergency), between the Mayors of the Municipalities of the territory concerned, the representatives of the Province of Oristano and the Oristanese Reclamation Consortium, with the MEDSEA technical support;  

      • September 2020

The Consortium of Reclamation Oristano, the Province of Oristano and the Department of Environmental Defense of the Region of Sardinia joined the group;

      • January 2021 |Oristano

The Action Program of the Contract was defined and a Coordination Group was established by the signatories of the Contract, which are recognized as political-decision-makers and coordination officiers;

      • February 5, 2021 |Oristano 

The Marine-Coastal Wetlands Contract of Oristano (Negotiated Programming Agreement pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 203, letter a) of Finance Law no. 662 of 1996) was signed.

      • 21 July 2021 | Santa Giusta

The Marine-Coastal Wetlands Contract of Oristano get revised (approved on the 21th of July 2021);

      • 6 October 2021 | Nurachi

The Municipality of Nurachi joins the Marine-Coast Wetlands Contract of Oristano 

      • 26 October 2021 | Oristano

The participatory process began. Meetings with associations, economic sectors and the population will be held within the next 6 months in the whole territory of the Maristanis Area.  Here the calendar 


      • Municipality of Arborea, Mayor Manuela Pintus
      • Municipality of Arbus, Mayor Andrea Concas;
      • Municipality ofCabras, Mayor Andrea Abis; 
      • Municipalityof Guspini, Mayor Giuseppe De Fanti; 
      • Municipality of Nurachi, Mayor Renzo Ponti
      • Municipality ofOristano, Mayor Andrea Lutzu; 
      • Municipality of Palmas Arborea, Mayor Emanuele Cadoni;
      • Municipality ofRiolaSardo, Extraordinary Commissioner Remo Ortu; 
      • Municipality of San VeroMilis, Mayor Luigi Tedeschi;
      • Municipality of SantaGiusta, Mayor Andrea Casu; 
      • Municipality ofTerralba, Mayor Sandro Pili;
      • Oristano Reclamation Consortium, Extraordinary Commissioner Cristiano Carrus; 
      • Province ofOristano, Extraordinary Administrator Massimo Torrente;
      • Autonomous Region of Sardinia - Department of Environmental Defense, GianniLampis.


      The Contract intends to implement a multidisciplinary and concerted policy action that involves all stakeholders towards effective management and sustainable development of the territory.  This will facilitate the alignment between the various plans and programs that create the current fragmented situation in the coastal wetlands area concerned and it will allow a convergence between the various public policies involved. 

 The Contract action program includes: 

      • Participatory territorial governance and capacity building;
      • Improvement of the ecological status of water systems;
      • Protection of biodiversity and natural heritage;
      • Landscape requalification and enhancement of cultural heritage;
      • Green economy - towards a sustainable and responsible territorial development model;
      • Strengthening resilience by addressing climate change; 
      • Communication and environmental awareness.


      1. Oristano Coastal Wetlands Contract - July 2021 [Only IT]
      2. Oristano Coastal Wetlands Contract - February 2021 [Only IT]
      3. Action Program [Only IT]
      4. Preliminary Examination [Only IT]
      5. Strategic Document [Only IT]
      6. Declaration of Intent [Only IT]
Starting from the second half of October 2021, experts of the MEDSEA Foundation have undertaken a lengthy series of meetings with all the parties representing the civil, scientific and economic society of the eleven municipalities involved in the new governance tool for wetlands and coastal areas. Below are the reports of these meetings:  
26.10.2021 - Meeting with fisheries and farming associations [report in IT]
26.10.2021 - Meeting with the territorial authorities [report in IT]
28.10.2021 - Meeting with local companies [report in IT
09.11.2021 - Meeting with fishermen of the central area: Palmas Arborea, Santa Giusta and Oristano [report in IT]
11.11.2021 - Meeting with fishermen of the southern area: Guspini, Arbus, Terralba and Arborea [report in IT]
16.11.2021 - Meeting with farmers of the northern area: Cabras, S. Vero Milis, Riola Sardo and Nurachi [report in IT]
25.11.2021 - Meeting with associations [report in IT]
02.12.2021 - Meeting with tourism operators [report in IT]

To continue exploring, together with the local community, the potential of this region towards valorization and sustainable development in the future, the participatory process 'Let's listen to your Water Lands' began in June 2023. This initiative is promoted by the Contract Coordination Group and implemented with the technical support of Poliste srl Società Benefit. The process began with the goal of raising awareness, engaging, and involving communities, thereby encouraging the expression of ideas, opinions, visions, dialogue, listening, and active discussion.

07.06.2023 - Meeting in Oristano and 08.06.2023- Meeting in Nurachi [report in IT]
26.06.2023 - Meeting in Terralba and 28.06.2023 - Meeting in Guspini [report in IT]
05.07.2023 - Meeting in Palmas Arborea and 06.07.2023 - Meeting in Arbus [report in IT]
The Coastal Agreement has been included among the stories of the European Community's 'Climate Change Adaptation' Mission. It is a collection of adaptation actions aimed at inspiring others to take action on climate adaptation "Coastal Contract: A Governance Approach for Integrated Wetland Management".
Activities, Climate Action, Biodiversity conservation, Coastal management