Enhancing the protection and restoration of Natura 2000 sites with the Interreg Project Italy-Slovenia E-NAT2CARE

Monday, 19 February 2024

From September 2023, a cross-border project between Italy and Slovenia - E-NAT2CARE - has been launched with the main objective of conserving and restoring a high level of biodiversity and ecosystem richness, from the Alps to the karst landscape. The project will last 24 months. The involved partners are the Slovenian National Institute of Biology, the Škocjanske Jame Park, the University of Primorska on the Slovenian side and the Prealpi Giulie Nature Park and the University of Udine on the Italian side.

The E-NAT2CARE project builds on the excellent results of the NAT2CARE project from the previous Interreg Italia-Slovenia 2014-2020 programming period, which showed that cross-border areas need coordinated management to halt the decline in biodiversity and the deterioration of habitats and species. Forests, which consist of old trees with stunted trunks and contain large amounts of dead wood, are among the most diverse ecosystems. They harbour many animal and plant species, have an important economic value, an educational and aesthetic function and help to mitigate climate change. These forests are severely threatened by deforestation, climate change and unpredictable and violent natural events such as fires and floods, including in the Alps and karst. This also threatens many species that need such forests to survive. The general objective of the project is to support the protection and development of biodiversity in PA through the implementation of 2 pilot actions at cross-border level to monitor species defined as "bio-indicators": Rosalia Alpina and Strix Uralensis in the protected areas Biosphere Reserve of the Julian Alps and the Slovenian Karst (pilot area the Park Škocjanske jame), Trieste and Gorizia. On the other hand, there is a growing need for sustainable management of water resources. The project will thus also focus on developing a methodology for mapping ecosystem services and involving the population and local businesses in activities for active protection and collective responsibility towards this resource, which also has an economic value.

The common challenge of PA is to protect and actively conserve of the high level and widespread biodiversity that extends from the Alps to the sea through the Karst region. The E-NAT2CARE project pursues the objectives of implementation, transfer, and communication in order to use the results of the NAT2CARE project.

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ALPARC - The Alpine Network of Protected Areas

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