On 5th and 6th February 2020, the 9 partners of the Interreg BID REX project met in Ancona, Italy, for their bi-annual Steering Group Meeting (SGM). The meeting, hosted by the project partner Marche, was centered around the discussion of each partner’s Action Plan. The Action Plans were drawn up in the first phase of the project, in relation to specific territorial objectives.
The comparison of the Action Plans highlighted that it is extremely important for local administrators to have up-to-date data available on species and habitats in order to make informed decisions. The lack of resources supporting the monitoring of species and habitats increases risks that administrators will make decisions that will not effectively prevent the loss of biodiversity. This is especially true when considering that climate change is likely to accelerate these losses.
The Marche region presented their Action Plan in detail. This plan is based on the Marche regional ecological network (REM) and they are working with local and regional administrations to help ensure that this network is taken into account in land-use planning and in the management of common natural resources.
Three on-site visits took place around Ancona so that other participants could see how the REM is embedded in local practices by the local authorities on the ground. In particular, a visit to the Conero park showed how native species were reintroduced to replace invasive alien species in the wetland area of Portonovo bay.

The partners also discussed the organisation and timing of the BID-REX closure event which will take place in Barcelona and is currently scheduled for the 4th and 5th June. Overall, the participants concluded that it is very important that the new programming of European funds between 2021-2027 is strongly led by green issues and focused on halting current dramatic biodiversity loss.