Implementation of the Marche Region Ecological Network (REM) in the local spatial planning policies by a “downscaling” process.
Marche Region, with Regional Law 2/2013, approved the rules on the Regional Ecological Network and the protection of the landscape, in order to encourage the protection of biodiversity, to reduce the fragmentation of the natural, semi-natural habitats of the environmental matrix, to increase the quality of the territory and promote ecological functionality, and to contribute to the enhancement of the landscape. The presence of a regulatory framework to support environmental policies, aimed at greater knowledge, better accessibility, usability of territorial information and environmental data between the different managing authorities (Regions, Provinces, Municipalities, Park Authorities, Mountain Unions, Municipalities, etc.), facilitates the identification of actions focused on an economic and sustainable development, through the protection of biodiversity, ecological systems and the strengthening of green infrastructure. The aim of the operation is the improvement of the local authorities policy instruments by the process of downscaling the REM from the regional 1:50,000 scale to the provincial and municipal levels respecting and deepening structure and objectives of the regional ecological network.
The information contained in the REM and in the regional and local environmental databases, are the first element in the process of downscaling, and contribute greatly to improving the quality of the Plans.
The process of analysis and interpretation of the available cartographic data, for the upper-municipal area Colline del Fermano (5 municipalities), and the identification of 5 potential areas of environmental requalification actions, required the work of a technical team - cost €20,000.
Evidence of success
The process of downscaling for the integration of the contents, objectives and aims of the REM in the tools of territorial planning has been experimentally successfully adopted in territorial contexts including 5 municipalities.
As an example, Porto St Elpidio ufficially adopted REM in a Masterplan for the new municipal plan where municipality's natural values were included.
The constituent elements of the ecological networks were identified and mapped on a scale of 1:10000
The lack of information is made even more serious by the fact that the information available, collected from different subjects, due to the lack of common standards, is often difficult to compare and cannot, as a whole, provide an organic picture of the biological systems, lack of technical staff.
Potential for learning or transfer
The methodological approach to the identification of the constituent elements and management objectives of the REM at the various territorial scales are replicable, reproducible and repeatable in any regional territorial context and for the different environmental systems (coastal, river, pastoral agro-sylvan, settlement, etc.).
The Marche Regional Council issued the DGR 1288/18 approved the guidelines for the implementation of the Ecological Network of the Marches (REM), an important turning point for the improvement of the policy instrument to the provincial and municipal levels while maintaining the structure of the network.
This simplifies the task of local authorities and facilitates coordination and integration between different local authorities with similar problems and programs, for example mountain municipalities, coastal municipalities, etc..
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