When struggles and success provide inspiration to everyone
In open discussions, participants of the meeting got the opportunity to ask questions and exchange their concerns and experiences. As we learned from our Italian friends, Italy’s administrative structure is quite complex and bureaucratic. A landowner shared his story of how he wants to create a sustainable business plan on his property. He has big plans and wants to apply the agroforestry concepts to create an ecological corridor connecting two Natura 2000 areas. His property is located directly at the edge of two Natura 2000 areas that could be connected through his land. So, he reached out to local authorities to learn about their plans for the region’s Natura 2000 areas. He quickly realised that there was a lack of interest from local authorities in working with him. From his experience, Natura 2000 and nature conservation is seen as a burden instead of a valuable resource to mitigate climate warming, and foster biodiversity and to create income. Besides, local authorities are not responsible for the management of Natura 2000 areas. That’s up on a higher level to regional authorities. Indeed, the situation is quite complex when compared to other European countries. There is little to no awareness from locals that their land provides remarkable nature reserves.