In the photo: great enthusiasm to visit the restored areas carried out after the Final Conference - photo: R. Gardonio
One of the objectives of the project was to change the negative perception about grasslands that, due to the remarkable difficulty of tillage and cultivation, were always perceived as a dusty expanse of stones, poor of life where illegally discharge wastes or where drive off-road cars. Thanks to the several initiatives undertaken, many citizens are now much more aware and have understood that grasslands are actually places extraordinary, unique, original, rich in natural values and biodiversity.
Event organized by the FAI of Pordenone and supported by the Region in the restored area of Dandolo in Maniago (photo by Giada Centazzo)
Among the first divulgation actions there has been the creation of this website that currently works as an interface between the Region and the citizens. The site, which to date has exceeded the threshold of 200,000 accesses, is English-translated and explains the main objectives of the Project, presenting among other things, the geographical identification and mapping of the sites subject of interventions.
ACTIVITIES WITH SCHOOLS
Two important divulgation initiatives schools-oriented have been the environmental education project and the ideas contest to promote and make known the grasslands.
This made possible the involvement of more than 56 classes, more than 120 teachers and 1,130 students in training and educational courses held in 2013/2014. Also through the distribution of the booklet "This year at school we promote grasslands!" and the support of Nature Guides made available thanks to funds of Life, children were able to discover and explore the environment and ecology of the grasslands.
The contest ended in 2015 involved the creation of a logo and a slogan useful to promote the grasslands. Thanks to these initiatives, in addition to schools, were indirectly involved also the families allowing to raise awareness among large sections of the local population.
info booklet on environmental educational project
The booklet "This year at school we promote grasslands!" ideated to support the above mentioned educational project was printed in 3,000 copies. The booklet is divided into three main sections: geology, flora and fauna, and is organized in educational cards that delve into various topics with workshops and practical activities and observation, indoor and outdoor (listening to animals and birds calls, drawings, scale-models construction etc.). The publication is now distributed free of charge to all teachers of primary, secondary and high schools that request it.
The publication dedicated to schools and created as an aid to the execution of educational activities for schools
NOTICE BOARDS, DOCUMENTARIES AND OTHER PUBBLICATIONS
Among other divulgation initiatives, the collation of some notice boards describing the project and the main prohibitions and regulations within the Natura 2000 sites subject of interventions was carried out.
The Region has also realized two documentaries dedicated to grasslands. The first one explains the importance of dry meadows and what is being done within the Life Project. The other, realized in collaboration with Cavasso Nuovo primary schools shows the children's experiences in the course of their research on grasslands. The documentary is the transposition into video of the book "Magredi, yesterday, today and tomorrow", a volume which collects interviews with old people, grandparents and other people of the zone documenting customs and traditions. It is an extraordinary compendium of tales collected directly from the mouth of farmers, naturalists and enthusiasts who have lived grasslands, each one in a different way, but always intense and sometimes moving.
The Regional Service, owner of the project, also reprinted the book "Magredi di Pordenone, the latest prairies", adding a special chapter devoted to the Life Project. With the same purpose has also created a cardboard bookmark to be included in the book "Magredi, yesterday, today and tomorrow."
Notice boards to be placed near to Natura 2000 sites subject of interventions
EVENINGS, SCREENINGS, GUIDED VISITS AND NETWORKING ACTIVITY
The information and awareness-raising initiatives are complemented by the many meetings, guided visits, screening of documentaries, photographic exhibitions and so on to encourage the involvement of the population.
The table below summarizes these initiatives also including a series of television appearances, on local and national radio stations, to raise awareness about the importance of grasslands and what the Region is doing to preserve and enhance them.
Educational and training initiatives. Photo by Raffaela Corrado)
The Regional Service for landscape and biodiversity through an intense networking activity built important external relations by participating in meetings and exchanges of information with other Regions and Public/Private Institutions that are developing similar projects for the conservation of dry grasslands finding notable (and unexpected) collaborations developing valuable synergies with municipalities and landlords for the future management of some grasslands. These contacts are fundamental for the post-Life management.
Speech at the Agricultural Institute of Spilimbergo in association with which it was started an experimental restoration action of dry prairies on school premises.
The Region has eventually realized a workshop to explain the importance of stable meadows and to inform landlords and farmers about the modalities to access the rural development plan subsidies and compensations in support of their management and conservation (info: www.regione.fvg.it)
From left to right: 1. Presentation of the itineraries and visits-calendar organized with Keep-point to promote farm holiday and hiking in the grasslands; a visit to grasslands, 3. award of the best permanent hay at the ITAS in Spilimbergo, 4. Councillor Santoro at the presentation of the Life Project documentary 2. enthusiastic naturalist in action. (Photo by: Giada Centazzo and Stefano Fabian)
Figures of divulgative interventions (updated to May 2016)
Figures about distributed pubblications and involved people
The numerous attendants of the event organized in collaboration with the University of the Third Age of Cordenons. During the various events educational materials dedicated to grasslands and to the Project Life was distributed.
With the Project still to be completed the number of people directly involved (excluding schools) is equal to 1,955 at which addtional 4,150people involved through the distribution of materials and 2,000,000 citizens informed through TV, website etc. have to be added.
All this has helped to change positively and in stark and almost permanently way the very perception about grasslands, about Natura 2000 sites involved and about what the Region is doing to protect and enhance this type of habitat.
On 3rd, 4th and 5th of May 2016 the EU Monitor Alberto Cozzi travelled to Friuli Venezia Giulia to assess the overall progress of the Project. Besides the informative and divulgative initiatives already carried out he verified and appreciated the progress of the restoration work.
Mr. Alberto Cozzi, EU Monitor at Dandolo restored area in Maniago where is immediately visually appreciable the incredible flowering of wild orchids typical of grasslands