We deal with the establishment of a protected area managed by Environmental Association (WWF) with the aim to preserve a rich heritage of biodiversity
The territory around the Matese Mountains was not protected. The whole area had not been studied sufficiently from a naturalistic point of view, it was almost unknown. There were two municipalities interested in the exploitation of natural resources existing in the area, but they need a scientific support for the identification of the proper way to preserve the biodiversity existing in the area. The mission of the WWF is the nature conservation so began a coooperation process aimed to the identification of the territories of the two municipalities as Nature Reserve. The innovative approach was the creation of a Reserve that has prompltly identified the animal and plant species on which implement preservation policies and that are unique species, the so called endemic species. There was a strong involvement of Molise University for the scientific researches and analysis, also on the field, to able to study and analyze the distribution and location of the species, in order to identify the best protection practices.This scientific activity has also allowed us to identify endemic species that were previously unknown, making it possible to define the Matese Area as a valuable area from a biogeographical point of view. From the administrative point of view, the recognition of this area as a nature reserve was ensured through the creation of the WWF Oasis. The main stakeholders and beneficiaries were two municipalities, local population, local enterprises, eco/friendly tourists

Resources needed

The process started before 1997 and involved national, regional and local Public Administrations, Universities and WWF network. From 2010 the Reserve is a Regional Reserve and the funds for its running up are ensured by the Molise Region, WWF Oasis and Campochiaro and Guardiaregia Municipalities.

Evidence of success

Numerous WWF Oasis articles published by various national and local magazines dealing with nature and tourism. Various appearances (even live) in RAI broadcasts such as "Serene Variable" and "Geo & Geo". At least 5 university theses on the biodiversity of the Reserve. Naturalistic studies on the flora and fauna of the protected area, such as the most recent wolf wrap and amphibian monitoring, resulting from the ongoing management project between Molise Region and WWF Oasis

Difficulties encountered

Operational economic autonomy; Relationships with residents and with the various administrations that have succeeded over the years in both towns, especially in the early periods; difficulty to understand the aims of protected areas

Potential for learning or transfer

We think that our experience could be summarized as a good example of integration of Researches on different animal and plant species in order to adopt the best preservation actions. So, the capability to draft and implement a Management Plan complying with the biodiversity preservation considering every point of view.
Another innovative approach is the capability to transform the scientific content of the researches currently made in communication and educational activities accessible by every target of people, creating also specific guided visits linked to the discover of the biodiversity heritage of the reserve.

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Main institution
Oasi WWF-Riserva naturale regionale Guardiaregia-Campochiaro
Molise, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 1997
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

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