‘Nature Charter’: 30% of the territory with a high natural value, 3.3% at risk of degradation

Ispra has mapped 15 Italian regions, equal to 71% of the national territory

To date, the Nature Charter was created and completed in 15 Italian regions, equal to 71% of the national territory. The cartographic works have made it possible to classify and map in Italy 37 landscape types and 290 select terrestrial habitat types for national cartography at the 1: 25,000 scale. In the 15 regions mapped, the evaluation process of the Nature Charter highlighted a significant percentage (30%) of territory with high natural value and 3.3% at risk of degradation. These are some of the data that emerged during the Ispra presentation of the ‘Nature Charter to know, protect and plan’ project, 10 years after the previous conference.

The environmental mosaic

Carta della Natura – Ispra explains – is a national project with the aim of creating cartographic products that show the distribution of Italian ecosystems and terrestrial habitats, highlighting areas of natural value and those at risk of degradation. The environmental mosaic in the 15 Regions highlighted one prevalence of anthropic environments: urban, industrial and agricultural, with 54.5% of the mapped territory; a significant portion of woodland and forest environments on a surface of 26% and only 0.2% affected by humid natural environments and peat bogs; a small area that explains their rarity and fragmentation and therefore their extreme interest from a conservation point of view.

The transformations: Molise and Friuli Venezia Giulia

The updates of the cartographic products of the project allow to record the environmental transformations that occur over time. In Molise and Friuli Venezia Giulia, the new habitat maps produced have made it possible to observe interesting variations that have taken place over the last decade; in Molise there was a process of abandonment of agricultural and pastoral practices in mountain areas with a significant increase in shrub areas, of 3,500 hectares, to the detriment of grassland areas. In Friuli Venezia Giulia, the effect of climate change has been observed and in particular the retreat, if not the disappearance, of vast portions of glaciers and snowfields: their surface, in the new map, has undergone a reduction of close to 50%.