The good practice represent a success story of cooperation among institutions and local population in the restoration of a valuable natural area
The area immediately behind the town of Roccamandolfi (Isernia Provence) was characterized by degradation and impairment of the environment despite his uniqueness as a gorgeous gorge with geological phenomena such as the so-called giant mufflers, dominated by the imposing castle on the high and steep walls. In addition, the historic path inside the gorge connecting the country with the copious source of Cape Water was in a state of neglect. In particular the construction of two roads increased such environmental problems, so it was urgent to intervene. The cooperation among institutions and inhabitants made it possible a plan of intervention started in 2000 based on: interruption of infrastructural works that could cause environmental damages, the recover for touristical aims of the two roads constructed with eco-friendly materials (woods) and also introducing facilitations for disabled people, the involvement in all the eco-friendly works (natural paths, informative lables, environmental recovery cleaning) of a series of associations (boy-scouts, local inhabitants). The practice achieved a great success giving benefits to: local population, in term of environmental assets, sectoral tourists (drafting and canyoning), local entrepreneurs, in terms of increased income generated by the the increased tourist flows and local admistration as well, in term of increased capability in the management of local development in eco-friendly approach.
The total amount for the intervention was 400.000 Euro (20.000 of which directly managed by Italia Nostra). The volunteers involved as association, boy-scouts and local population were 100 at the beginning, with an increased number in the following years
Evidence of success
The evidence of the success is supplied by the following outputs: realization of n° 3 natural paths (one of which geological path); the restoration of environmental habitats involving association and population making it possible the naturalistic and environmental fruition of 50 hectares area; an increased awareness of the environmental value of the places among people external to the area
The initial difficulty encountered, which at the same time represented a challenge, was to create the greatest possible consensus on the idea of creating a regional reserve that was perceived as a resource to be protected by those living in the territory concerned. Lesson learned: listen to people
Potential for learning or transfer
Our good practice could be interesting for regions in which there are a concentration in a restricted area of environmental and geological heritage, and so ensuring the capability to develop a sustainable exploitation plan respecting and preserving the natural characteristics of the places. In fact the intervention plan realized was characterized by basic installations for the natural paths and thought for a sustainable flow of visitors and not for a mass tourism. The approach in the management of the intervention plan could be also transferred, considered that the practice made it possible the contribution of local population as principal actor in the cultural change of the behaviour towards the natural resource as an element to be valued and protected
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