Increasing awareness of the passengers travelling through the terminal of Milano-Orio al Serio airport of the problems caused by IAS.
In order to reduce the risk of introducing alien species, the Lombardy Region created in the international airport of Orio al Serio (the second in Italy for number of passengers and third for freight traffic) an integrated office that operates the controls of alien species at the entry, and actively informs passengers, customs inspectors and all the agents involved, on the problems caused by. The project is constituted of a first phase consisting in the study and design of the integrated office at the airport, in the analysis of the available data on passengers and freight traffic with the contribution of SACBO (Society for the Bergamo-Orio al Serio Civil Airport). Once risks and procedures have been defined, the acquired expertise and the best work practices have been transmitted to the personnel that work in the integrated office in order to ensure the control of arriving passengers, to provide information to departing passengers and to foresee actions to be undertaken in urgent cases. Moreover, with the aim of reducing the passenger knowledge gap about the risks related to alien species introduction and subsequent spread, an information campaign has been launched for passengers, the SACBO company, airline companies, travel agencies, and the wider public as a potential travellers. A questionnaire and information materials have been produced to offer travellers departing a complete picture of the situation and the related risks.
LIFE project GESTIRE 2020
Evidence of success
This practice should be considered as good because in the contrast of IAS introduction and spread the first action, recognized as successful by the scientific community, is to inform citizens and authorities on the problems that these species cause to local biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human health. A further important action for the control of IAS is the prevention, such as the control and management of the vectors of IAS introduction.
Potential for learning or transfer
Europe is characterized by a territorial continuity, a high volume of trade, tourism, and transport therefore a coordinated approach to IAS is required. Airports are one of the major pathways through which IAS are voluntarily or accidentally introduced in our country and thus, prevention measures are a priority of the EU strategy 1143/2014 and one of the key actions is the pathways management. In other part of the world, such as Australia, this type of airport biosecurity is normal. The experience of these countries can provide a valuable example of how important it is to start contrasting biological invasions in the airports. The second good practice to transfer is the importance of a scientifically correct communication to citizens/passengers. Increasing awareness of the problems caused by IAS could represent the easiest way to prevent biological invasions: informed citizens will be more aware if they realize that with their behaviour they can cause problems to local biodiversity