National and regional story (Italy) - Protection of biodiversity and natural heritage: a central need to face climate change
Protection of biodiversity and natural heritage: a central need to face climate change
Involving the citizens in climate change monitoring
Many scientific studies have pointed out the link between temperature rising and biological cycle changes. In 2004, the CREA (Alpine Ecosystem Research Center), a French association, has launched the Phénoclim project whose aim is to study, over time, the changes in plant life in relation to climate change. Observations are done by volunteers on a set of ten vegetal species. More than 100 observation places are being monitored across the French Alps with some places in the Swiss and Italian Alps as well. Visual observations (dates of flowering, budburst, leaf fall) are completed by almost 60 temperature monitoring stations. Data are collected by schools, individuals, associations, botanical gardens and protected areas. The analysis of initial observations seems to highlight the need for refining phenological models used for the plain, in order to adapt them to the specific mountain areas, taking into account different temperature, altitude and snow conditions.
Enhancing the ecological connectivity
In order to enhance ecological connectivity in the Alpine space, ECONNECT project (2008-2011) develops the basis for an alps wide and local implementation strategy. The Alpine ecological continuum needs an integrated approach beyond established protected areas while considering high biodiversity areas and corridors as linking elements. Spatial links and respective management measures are an initial approach to facilitate the increasing migratory needs of species in latitude and altitude due to climate change.
The Isere department (France), at the heart of the Alpine furrow, launched the «Isere ecological network» project to identify the breakdowns (over 300) in the ecological continuum and tackle them. An action plan over six years, designed in cooperation with local authorities and relevant partners (farmers, hunters, fishermen...), was launched to restore ecological corridors providing passages to the fauna. Information: http://www.cemagref.fr/le-cemagref/lorganisation/les-centres/grenoble/ur-emgr/projets/programme-espace-alpin-interreg-econnect/