11.05.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Outlining a sustainable future for the Po Delta area as a MAB Biosphere Reserve

© Parco del Delta del Po – F. Gasperoni

The gentle giant river Po, runs through the Po Plain and flows into the Adriatic Sea, forming a delta and one of the largest wetlands in Europe and in the Mediterranean Sea. The Po Delta is the most recent stretch of territory in Italy. In its indisputable unique frame, it is possible to find an area created both by the sedimentation of the river and the work of man who, during the centuries, has controlled its course and drained the land around it.

The richness of stunning landscapes, natural heritage, architectures and urban settlements of the Delta area represents an opportunity for the two regions that share this territory to candidate for the establishment of a Po Delta MAB Biosphere Reserve that would encapsulate the two regional parks and the surrounding municipalities.

In this frame, the Project “Outlining a sustainable future for the Po Delta area as a MAB Biosphere Reserve (DMBR)” was designed to facilitate a common effort of supra-communal master planning and management of this territory of outstanding international value, associating the Emilia-Romagna and Veneto Regions. The resulting project agreement signed between UNESCO and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo in March will be officially presented during a Press Conference to be held in Rovigo on 16 May.

Main project activities to be implemented will be: Analysis, integration and development of the existing port-folio of knowledge bases and projects resulting from previous and on-going activities/projects in the Po Delta Area; Development of a Master Plan for the sustainable development of the Po Delta area, a document that should inspire the territorial governance of its transformation in the respect of its cultural, social and environmental assets; and, Social and institutional facilitation of the process leading to the endorsement of such a Master Plan, that could lay the ground for a possible Po Delta Biosphere Reserve nomination process for which local stakeholders have already expressed great interest.

The Master Plan shall be focused not only on the conservation of important natural and historical assets, but also on the development and implementation of projects towards sustainable development pathways for the Po Delta territory, for the benefit of its population and main socio-economic actors.

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