The seminar “Rewilding in Italy” kicks off over the weekend of 3-5 November

November 1, 2023

Everything is ready in Gioia dei Marsi for the three days dedicated to the protection of biodiversity, the restoration of ecosystems, the socio-economic benefits of living in healthy nature and the practices of human-wildlife coexistence.

Apennine beech forest with breathtaking autumn colours.
Bruno D'Amicis

On Friday 3 November Rewilding Apennines will open the seminar “Rewilding in Italy. State of the art and future perspectives“. The initiative, sponsored by the Municipality of Gioia dei Marsi, will be held until 5 November at the Hotel Filippone, completely transformed in rewilding style for the occasion.

The very rich program has attracted dozens of participants, both from Italy and abroad, especially young students and professionals in the natural sciences sector, who will relate with the numerous speakers from multiple professional and research fields. Furthermore, the availability of an IT/EN simultaneous translation service has made it possible to extend this important event from an Italian to an international audience. At the end of the first day of work, a poster session will also be held to disseminate the different Italian experiences of young researchers on the subject of rewilding.

The four sessions of the seminar were designed to explore: the Rewilding Apennines 2030 strategy to increase the naturalness of the territories and the benefits for people; the LIFE Bear-Smart Corridors initiative aimed at encouraging the expansion of the Marsican brown bear in the Central Apennines through ecological corridors and at supporting local communities to become increasingly “bear-smart”; financial tools to support nature protection, rewilding credits and ecosystem services; biodiversity on the move in Italy, with a look at the Central Apennines and beyond; active rewilding, with a focus on reintroductions and protection of species and habitats, environmental restoration initiatives and strategies to combat the loss of biodiversity.

The coexistence between human communities and the Marsican bear population, endemic to the Central Apennines, will be one of the main themes of the seminar.
Bruno D'Amicis

The objective of this initiative is to take stock of what is happening at national level regarding rewilding to find new ideas, relationships and partnerships that allow us to implement a solid and structured strategy for the future, in which everyone can do their own part for the responsible protection of the landscape and coexistence with fauna. This is our mission.”, underlined Mario Cipollone, team leader of Rewilding Apennines.

A very important moment will be held on Sunday 5 November, when, at the end of the scheduled presentations, the round table “Future perspectives: strategies to preserve, restore and increase biodiversity in Italy” will take place. The objective is to share the rewilding initiatives carried out in Italy and to strengthen the network that unites all those who deal with wildlife, ecosystem restoration and coexistence, with a particularly attentive eye on future initiatives. Staff from local and national public bodies, representatives of environmental associations and trade organizations will participate in this moment of discussion. The intent is to build an open dialogue with all interested parties on the issues of biodiversity protection, ecosystem restoration, the socio-economic benefits that responsible management of nature can guarantee to communities and on the most effective tools to undermine illegal practices such as the use of poison and poaching, harmful for the territory, for people and for fauna, instead promoting the multiple opportunities that human-wildlife coexistence offers.

The moments of discussion and confrontation amongst all the participants in the event will constitute the key element for planning future initiatives.
Nelleke de Weerd

There will be no shortage of lighter moments, to make friends, create new relationships or strengthen pre-existing ones, and engage with the culture and traditions of the Central Apennines. In fact, during the two evenings there will be storytelling to discover plants and their traditional use, a concert of popular music and the screening of rewilding-themed documentaries.

Press conference of the Rewilding in Italy seminar on 27 October 2023 in Gioia dei Marsi.
Filippo Castellucci

Choosing to hold this seminar in Gioia dei Marsi has very specific reasons: the team lives in the central Apennines and is close to the communities with which it works. Contributing to promoting the culture of coexistence, as we do daily with activities in the Bear Measure Communities, also means offering opportunities for relationships, exchange, positive impact on local economies and a seminar of this magnitude pushes a lot in this direction“, declared Valerio Reale, Enterprise Manager of Rewilding Apennines, during the press conference held in Gioia dei Marsi on 27 October.

The “Rewilding in Italy” seminar boasts the sponsorship of Rewilding Europe, Rewilding Apennines and Exodus Travels. Furthermore, there are numerous bodies, institutions and organizations that sponsor the initiative: Municipality of Gioia dei Marsi, Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, Maiella National Park, Sirente Velino Regional Park, Monte Genzana Alto Gizio Regional Nature Reserve , National Research Council CNR, National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research ISPRA, Carabinieri Biodiversity of Castel di Sangro, ETH Polytechnic of Zurich, Salviamo l’Orso, The Bear and the Ant, Endangered Raptors Centre CERM, Wildlife Adventures , Coop. Eticae, Hotel Filippone.

Live speech by Angela Tavone, Communication Manager of Rewilding Apennines, on the popular television program GEO, on RAI 3, on 25 October 2023.

Furthermore, for the promotion of the seminar Rewilding Apennines collaborated with LIFEGATE, the first Italian communication agency on sustainability issues, and with Emanuele Biggi, a well-known face on TV, host of Geo on RAI 3, expert in science and nature and passionate science communicator. And it was precisely at GEO that Rewilding Apennines had the opportunity to bring to the attention of a national audience the issues of biodiversity protection, ecosystem restoration, the involvement of local communities and the reason for this seminar.

From 3 to 5 November, in addition to the staff, the speakers, those registered for the seminar and the guests of the round table, journalists with free accreditation are invited, because Rewilding Apennines believes it is desirable to have a wide audience report on the important issues that will be discussed and to give amplification even after the event itself.

A unique and unrepeatable initiative, therefore, which it is hoped will bring new life to the Central Apennines, where lush and healthy nature is the main distinctive and well-being element for its inhabitants, human and otherwise.

Rewilding Apennines Team leader, Mario Cipollone, and Communications Officer, Angela Tavone, monitoring wildlife together with Mount Genzana Nature Reserve Field Officer, Antonio Monaco. Central Apennines, Italy. 2020
The healthier ecosystems are, the more people can benefit from them physically and mentally.
Bruno D’Amicis