The Po Delta biosphere reserve (Italy)

The Po Delta biosphere reserve (Italy) is located in northern Italy and comprises 139,398 hectares, covering 16 municipalities and with 120,000 inhabitants. The area is a plain produced by the Po River’s action and recent human activities and is the only delta in Italy. The site includes the confluence of river branches, coastal dune systems and sand formations, lagoons, fishing ponds, marshes, fossil dunes, canals and coastal pine forests, vast brackish wetlands and cultivated lands dominated by rice farming. These landscapes provide an exceptional heritage of biodiversity due to their range of habitats. Tourism is one of the main economic activities of the local communities, along with agriculture and fish farming. Sustainable tourism could be promoted.  Environmental and cultural education aimed at the general public is an important activity of the biosphere reserve.