Project - Enhancing SIcily-Malta BIOgeographical Transboundary Insular Connectivity

Description


Description: Sicily and the Maltese Islands form a critical link for the ecological connectivity of the central Mediterranean migratory route between Europe and Africa. However, human pressure through intensive agriculture, urbanization and the development of residential tourist complexes has resulted in the degradation of the cross-border corridor area and fragmentation and decline in its ecological value, with negative consequences on the region’s rich biodiversity. This project proposes to strengthen the planning and management and restore a system of southeastern Sicilian Natura 2000 protected coastal wetlands of primary national and European community importance, and rehabilitate stepping stones of natural Mediterranean maquis habitat in Gozo’s agricultural landscape to enhance the ecological connectivity of the transboundary area. Participatory planning and implementation of landscape restoration actions will be conducted with the local administrations of the Comune di Pachino in the Provincia di Siracusa, the Ministry and local councils in Gozo, as well as local land owners/users. Constraints and opportunities for improved connectivity management and landscape-level biodiversity conservation in planning and policy-making will be uncovered through dialogue with key decision-makers and practitioners, leading to guidelines for cross-sectoral integration as well as stronger consultation and joint planning practices on both sides of the Sicily channel. Sicilia e Malta costituiscono nel Mediterraneo centrale un'area critica per la connettività di rotte migratorie tra Europa e Africa. Tuttavia, la forte pressione antropica dovuta a pratiche agricole intensive, all'urbanizzazione e allo sviluppo del turismo residenziale ha causato un degrado dei corridoi trans-frontalieri con conseguente frammentazione e declino del valore ecologico e con effetti negativi sulla biodiversità. Il progetto si propone di rafforzare la pianificazione, la gestione e il restauro di alcune aree costiere della Sicilia sud-orientale, già Siti Natura 2000, di grande importanza a livello nazionale e comunitario, ed inoltre di ripristinare stepping stones della macchia mediterranea nel paesaggio agrario di Gozo per incrementare la connettività ecologica nell'area trans-frontaliera. La pianificazione partecipata e le attività volte al restauro del paesaggio vedranno coinvolti il Comune di Pachino (Siracusa), il Ministero e le amministrazioni locali di Gozo oltre che i proprietari e gli utilizzatori dei terreni interessati. Vincoli ed opportunità per una migliore gestione della connettività e la conservazione della biodiversità anche a livello di paesaggio saranno evidenziati mediante azioni politiche e di pianificazione e con il dialogo tra esperti e amministratori realizzando linee guida per l'integrazione trans-frontaliera come pure la realizzazione di pratiche congiunte di consultazione e pianificazione tra le due sponde del Canale di Sicilia.
Achievements: SIMBIOTIC is a pilot project for restoring the environment that has improved the ecological connectivity of cross-border zones between south eastern Sicily and Gozo, both territories on the Europe Africa bird migration route. The project’s actions have revived ecological systems in the areas concerned, reinforced their management, environmental and planning policy as well as promoting a greater environmental understanding at local level. Along the south-eastern Sicilian coast the project has been involved in the planning and management of primarily important coastal wetlands, both at the national and community level, with the restoration of Pantano Ponterio, otherwise in danger of complete abandonment. On the Maltese side, SIMBIOTIC has restored the Mediterranean bush on some areas of Gozo which until recently had been farmed and then abandoned. A preliminary joint study in the mapping and identifi cation of local plants, animals and components of the local habitat, in the of changes to the landscape and the identification of priority areas, or stepping stones, use on the migratory routes was at the bases of restoration work in the Sicilian and Maltese areas. Lastly, the project produced guidelines for territorial management and policy planning for the connectivity and conservation of the cross-border landscape. • 4 interventions of environmental restoration in Sicily and Malta • 1 reconnaissance of local habits • 1 guideline for the connectivity and the conservation of cross-border landscapes



Project Summary


Project name (EN): Enhancing SIcily-Malta BIOgeographical Transboundary Insular Connectivity
Project acronym: SIMBIOTIC

Period: 2007-2013
Date of latest update: 2014-11-01

Web: http://www.italiamalta.eu/

Project start date: 2011-05-01
Project end date: 2013-04-01
Project status: Closed

Total budget/expenditure: EUR 1.162.029,00
European Union funding: EUR 851.724,65

Project documents

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Partners Data


Lead Partner (EN): Institute of Earth Systems, University of Malta
Lead Partner: Institute of Earth Systems, University of Malta
Address: Institute of Earth Systems, University of Malta, Msida, Malta
Legal status: n/a

Address: St. Francis Square, Victoria, Malta
Legal status: n/a
Address: Via XXV Luglio, I, Pachino, Italy
Legal status: n/a

Partners Location


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