A succesfull experience of cooperation among public an private actors for the management of a protected areas
The establishment of the Reserve requested the identification of the proper management body able to carry out the ordinary activities for its manteinance and for its promotion as well, enclosing scientific activities. The two municipalities had not the skills for the technical and logistic management of the reserve, and there was also the significant issue regarding how to finance those activities. The perceived need has leaded to the identification of a private body as the proper manager of the reserve structures, so a subject that could apply management tools based on costs-benefits analysis. The management of a complex protected area such as Guardiaregia-Campochiaro can not be delegated almost exclusively to volunteers. For this reason, WWF Italia's need was above all, as was the case in other protected areas managed by the Association in Italy, to encourage the entry of local structures for the management of all activities of the protected area we are talking about. The outcome was the creation of a local Cooperative, named "La Ramegna", for the management of tourist activities, logistics and administrative management of fixed and seasonal Staff of the WWF OASIS Guardiaregia-Campochiaro. The main beneficiaries were the two municipalities, the local population, university researchers, WWF Network, Molise Region
La Ramegna Cooperative today uses n.1 permanent and n.2 seasonal operators for the management of tourist, logistics and administrative activities. Activities in other services such as the Guardiaregia Municipal Library and cleaning services have produced 2 fixed-term and 3 permanent-time employees
Evidence of success
The cooperative is currently involved in the management of other public services, but the core activity is the management of welcome services to tourists of WWF Oasis (about 4.500 per year),using also public granting for the furniture and technological equipment of the Visitors centre.Guardiaregia Municipality has also assigned to the cooperative the maintenance of the San Nicola Path in the Oasis
Potential for learning or transfer
The practice is very significant for small communities interested in nature reserves. In fact it represents a management scheme that could be used by Municipalities and Environmental Associations in order to cooperate for supporting the establishment of micro-enterprises involving local people, giving also an answer to employment needs and so supporting socio-economic activities in protected areas. So local people, students, researches could be significant ambassadors of the values and potential of places with a high heritage in terms of biodiversity. It's also an experience that could be transferred as regards the "tutorship" role played by a network as WWF in order to support very small enterprises for the carrying out of services related t the conservation and explitation of a nature resterve, giving also technical and scientific support for the improvement of skills and capabilities of enterprise operators
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