Life Claw > The project > Partners

Coordinator beneficiary

Parco Nazionale dell'Appennino tosco-emiliano

The Parco nazionale dell’ Appennino tosco-emiliano was established by a Presidential Decree on 21st of May 2001. It extends over 26.140 hectares and includes territories of two administrative Regions (Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna), 4 Province administrations and 14 municipalities. It includes four state natural reserves and 16 Natura 2000 sites.

The main purposes of the National Park are the conservation and valorisation of the natural heritage, the preservation and reconstruction of hydrogeologic balances and the promotion of local socio-economic activities.

Since its establishment the Park has implemented projects that aimed at the conservation and restoration of wildlife and plant species and ecosystems, the preservation of landscapes, the promotion of environmental education and training as well as low-impact recreational activities.

In addition, the Park has promoted the conservation and valorisation of traditional activities as an expression of cultural identity for the local communities. The technical and administrative staff of the park has gained specific experience in managing (technical and administrative management) as well as in coordinating actions of multi-partner projects, funded both by European financial instruments (LIFE, Italy-France Po-Maritime, Interreg , PSR, POR-FERS) and national (extraordinary funds of the Ministry of the Environment, regional funds and park budget funds).

In the period between 2008 and 2018, the National Park has been the coordinating beneficiary of n. 2 LIFE nature projects and associated partner of 4 other LIFE nature projects. Previously, a staff member took over the role of project manager for 2 other LIFE NATURA projects.

Associated beneficiaries

Consorzio di Bonifica di Piacenza

Consorzio di Bonifica di Piacenza is an organisation based on public law managed by Consortium members, which coordinate both public and private works devoted to drainage, irrigation, flood control, soil defence, protecting waters and environment.

It is an integrated hydraulic safety system in defense of the city, the countryside, the production areas that counteracts the effects of growing urbanization.


The supply, distribution and rational use of water for irrigation, other productive purposes and environmental factors that lead to the return of the asset and are compatible with subsequent uses in accordance with the national and regional laws.
The maintenance of sides and the recovery of landslide areas with public and private works.
The hydraulic control of the territories in level ground, the protection of hydrogeological instability in the mountain and hill area in order to reduce the flood risk to properties and safeguard the integrity of the environment through the network of canals and other drainage works.
The Consortium in figures:

• 48 Municipalities in province of Piacenza

• 7 Municipalities in province of Pavia • area of 6.000 km² whereof: 3.500 km² mountain,1.250 km² hill,1.250 km² flat country • a network of 2.600 km of drains

• 2 dams

• 5 draining pumps

• 2 lifting plants from the Po river for irrigation

• 1 overflow basin • 60 rural aqueducts

• 125 km rural roads In CBPC existing internal professional dedicated to European planning.

Consorzio di Bonifica di Piacenza

Costa Edutainment

The overall goal of Costa Edutainment activity is to answer to the growing demand for a high quality use of leisure time, in which cultural and educational experiences are joined within the spectacle of the setting and the immediacy of the offer. Among the 12 structures managed by Costa Edutainment, there are Acquario di Genova, and Acquario di Cattolica which represent an extraordinary scientific and educational center and one of the main cultural locations visited in Italy.

La sua missione è sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica sulla conservazione degli habitat acquatici naturali attraverso attività educative e scientifiche e promuovere cambiamenti comportamentali positivi per la salvaguardia dell’ambiente. L’acquario svolgono un ruolo rilevante nel diffondere la conoscenza scientifica al pubblico a molti livelli, utilizzando messaggi e attività dedicati e coinvolgendo direttamente circa 1.100.000 visitatori all’anno (compresi gli studenti) e milioni di contatti attraverso il sito web istituzionale.

It’s mission is to increase public awareness on conservation of natural aquatic habitats through educational and scientific activities, and to promote positive behavioral changes for the preservation of the environment. The aquariums plays a relevant role in disseminating the scientific knowledge to the public at many levels, by utilizing dedicated messages and activities, and directly involving approximately 1,100,000 visitors per year (including students) and million of contacts through the institutional web site. The scientific research and conservation activities in situ are also fundamental. They are carried out in cooperation with other research Institutions or Authorities, which have contributed to the knowledge of the status of aquatic species, developed new non invasive research techniques and supported the actions to promote the set up of areas for the protection of endangered species.

A very active participation to these activities within the scientific community, in contact with international Authorities and supranational Organizations, are fundamental in order to stimulate the implementation of governance policies to protect endangered species. The aquarium is also very active in the dissemination of the results of the research and monitoring activities, to promote active participation of the general public.

Ente di Gestione per I Parchi e la Biodiversità Emilia occidentale

In 2011 the Emilia-Romagna region has organized the regional Natural Protected Areas System dividing the territory into five major geographic areas.

The Management Authority for the Parks and Biodiversity Emilia Western (EGPB) is the structure that governs 5 parks (Parco Boschi di Carrega, Parco Fluviale del Taro, Parco delle Valli del Cedra e del Parma, Parco dello Stirone e del Piacenziano e Parco Fluviale del Trebbia) and 4 nature reserves (Monte Prinzera, Parma Morta, Bosco dei Ghirardi e Torrile-Trecasali) in the provinces of Parma and Piacenza.

The EGPB also manages Natura 2000 sites inside protected areas: 6 SIC/ZPS (Basso Trebbia – IT4010016, Fiume Po da Rio Boriacco a Bosco Ospizio – IT4010018, Area delle Risorgive di Viarolo, Bacini di Torrile, Fascia golenale del Po – IT 4020017, Crinale dell’Appennino Parmense – IT 4020020, Medio Taro – IT 4020021, Parma Morta – IT 4020025), 5 SIC (Castell’Arquato-Lugagnano Val d’Arda – IT 4010008, Boschi di Carrega – IT 4020001, Torrente Stirone – IT 4020003, Monte Prinzera – IT 4020006, Boschi dei Ghirardi – IT 4020026).

The EGPB acquired staff of all protected areas (about 28 people, technical and administrative employees) and organized them into five areas, according to the skills: Area Institutional affairs, communication and marketing, Area Public works and land use planning, Wildlife Management Area and Security Guard, Storage, Research and Monitoring Services, Education for Sustainability.

The experience gained by the staff in over twenty years of parks and regional reserves management in the areas of Biodiversity Conservation, Environmental Education and the promotion of sustainable land policy ensures that EGPB has the preparation and expertise to tackle complex projects with transversal characteristics

Ente di Gestione per I Parchi e la Biodiversità Emilia occidentale

Fontanigorda municipality

Fontanigorda is a mountain municipality situated at 810 m above mean sea level (mamsl). It stands on the Paduan side of the Ligurian Appennine in Alta Val Trebbia. Fontanigorda currently counts 265 residents, down from nearly 2000 in the early 1900s..

The depopulation, as in all the higher reaches of Val Trebbia, is caused by emigration towards urban areas. The municipal territory, including an extension of roughly 16 km2, is located on the right bank of the river Trebbia. It occupies a large portion of this bank from the ridge separating the adjacent Val d’Aveto, with peaks exceeding 1,400 m, to the valley bottom at circa 600 mamsl.

A large part of the municipal territory is covered by SIC IT1331012 “Lago Marcotto-Roccabruna-GifarcoLago della Nave”, characterized by woods, summital grasslands, small rocky outcrops and areas of wetland in good conservation conditions.

The wetlands (ponds and peat bogs) are of considerable interest, as they support species at risk of depletion. Some of the latter are priority species for 92/43 CEE, others are protected by other international directives/conventions, and other still are notable endemics.

The presence of ophiolitic substrates creates conditions suitable for some unusual habitats, which the Region of Liguria has requested be included in All.I of the 92/43 CEE Directive. The municipal territory of Fontanigorda is additionally crossed by a few of the River Trebbia’s tributaries (the Pescia and Sermigliasca streams). The valley sides present large chestnut and beech groves.

The toponym “Fontanigorda” originates from the abundance of water, which flows constantly from the many fountains in the village. This abundance has led, in the past, to the installation of aquaculture facilities (specifically for fish), including one currently owned by the Council and whose use is proposed.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie

is a public veterinary organization belonging to the National Health System. It provides scientific and technical support to the Central and Regional Governments in animal health and welfare, food safety and environmental protection.

The mission of the IZSVe is the preservation of public health, in terms of food safety and preventing zoonoses, and animal welfare, in terms of animal health and living conditions. The IZSVe promotes public health, guarantees that controls are performed on the food-production chain, and fosters improved coexistence between human beings and animals.

This is achieved by focusing on four main areas: control of foodborne pathogens,prevention and control of animal diseases, technical and scientific research, training and communication. Since 1994 the Fish Pathology Unit has been recognized as National Reference Center (NRL) for Fish, Crustacean and Mollusc Diseases according to EU legislation.

The main duties of NRL are: diagnosis of fish, mollusc and crustacean diseases; field surveillance plans about fish and mollusc diseases; identification of virus, bacteria and parasites related to new and emerging diseases; production of vaccines against bacterial diseases of finfish; technical and scientific advices to veterinarians and fish farmers; technical collaboration with Ministry of Health, Local and Regional Veterinary Services, environmental authorities, fishermen associations, pharmaceutical companies.

Since 1978 IZSVe is involved in crustacean diseases diagnosis and surveillance programme about the most important diseases affecting wild and reared animals. During the last fifteen years, according to EU food safety legislation (food hygiene pocket), chemical and microbiological controls of products of animal origin increased and nowadays more than 250.000 samples are analyzed each year.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie

Ottone municipality

Ottone si trova in Alta Val Trebbia, sull’Appennino Ligure (che comprende l’Appennino piacentino), lungo la Strada Statale 45 della Val Trebbia, a circa 70 km da Piacenza e circa 60 km da Genova; è, quindi, il comune emiliano più vicino al capoluogo ligure, oltre ad essere il più occidentale della regione.

Ottone is located in the Alta Val Trebbia, on the Ligurian Apennines (which includes the Piacenza Apennines), along the Strada Statale 45 of Val Trebbia, about 70 km from Piacenza and about 60 km from Genoa, which makes it the Emilian unicipality closest to the Ligurian capital, as well as being the westernmost in the region. Ottone also borders the municipality of Zerba, one of the two Emilia-Romagna municipalities bordering the Piemonte region.

The municipal territory beyond the town extends in the upper Val Trebbia and part in the Val Boreca where consists of several scattered hamlets and some very populated species on weekends and in summer.

The landscape of the Trebbia valley and of the municipal territory is cultivated up to the altitudes where the woods cover thickly the slopes of the mountains. The Trebbia river flows through the valley with numerous meanders. To enriching the waters of the Trebbia, above all, the affluent Aveto, along its course, which attracts every one numerous bathers summer, it is possible to practice canoeing, swimming, fishing and other sports.

Parco naturale Regionale dell’Antola

The territory of the Antola Park covers about 4800 ha and includes (totally or partially) 5 Natura2000 areas belonging to the continental biogeographical area, now designated as SACs (Special Areas of Conservation) on the basis of the Decree of the Ministry issued on 13 October 2016:

SAC IT1330905

SAC IT1330213

SAC IT1330925

SAC IT1331019

SAC IT1330223

The types of vegetation range from the riparian and fluvial along trivers to the chestnut groves and cerreti along the slopes up to 800 m, to leave the place, over 800 m and on the northern slopes, to large beech woods. While the prairies dominate near the ridges.

The SACs are distinguished by the number of species that make up the local bird life (over 40), while there are 780 species of lepidoptera and insects inventoried.

The SAC Parco Antola is also part of the “Prime Butterfly Areas in Europe”, or priority conservation sites for butterflies, thanks to the presence of many moths, including the Euplagia quadripunctaria, a species of priority importance.

The high naturalness of the environments and the limited, and in some cases absent human intervention, is supported by the presence of over 50 species including artopods, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds considered important and protected according to the EU regulations defined in standard form of the SAC.

The fluvial fauna is particularly rich, thanks to the excellent quality of the water courses, which allows the presence of fish such as Barbus plebejus and Telestes muticellus, 7 species of amphibians and especially the Austropotamobius pallipes river shrimp.

The latter is widespread in almost of all watercourses of the Park and of the SACs managed, withpopulations in an excellent conservation status , especially in Val Trebbia, where the species can be found continuously along the main branch and in the secondary grating. The park district is therefore a priority hot spot for the conservation of this species in the northern Apennines.

Parco naturale Regionale dell’Antola

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) is the largest Italian academic Institution, counting 5 campuses, 12 faculties and more than 40 thousand students. The Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science has his campus in Piacenza, in Northern Italy and was established in the academic year 1952-53. Within UCSC the institute research centers involved in LIFE+ CLAW project are:

1) Centro di Ricerca sulla Biodiversità e sul DNA antico (BioDNA), launched on November 24, 2009, is dedicated to the investigation of genome evolution. Its activity focuses on the study of genetic diversity of plants, animals and microorganisms through the analysis of their DNA. A deeper understanding of genome information permits a better characterization of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that are subjected to anthropogenic disturbance, the optimization of biodiversity conservation strategies and a more focused exploitation of livestock species important in the agro-food sector. In addition, the analysis of DNA mutations in space and time allows the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of those organisms that since the Neolithic have accompanied human populations during migrations, wars and conquers. This information, together with archaeological and archaeobiological evidence, contributes to the unravelling of
human ancient history.

2) CRAST – Centro di Ricerca Analisi geoSpaziale e Telerilevamento promotes the use of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing techniques in research and teaching about the farming systems analysis, management and planning of rural and sustainable development.

Particular attention is paid to remote sensing and geospatial analysis of agro-ecosystems and the processes that affect soil water and vegetation.

CRAST is a research center for inter-institute of the Faculty of Agricultural Science, food and environmental and promotes a multi-disciplinary approach to these issues through the collaboration of the member institutes.

Università degli studi di Pavia

The University of Pavia, founded in 1361, has 2 faculties, 18 departments and 84 degree programmes; it is a Research University, participates in international projects and is included in the network with major college in the world, it promotes interdisciplinary research and interacts with business.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is a scientific, technical and cultural reference for all public and private entities engaged in the management and environmental planning, the conservation of biodiversity, research, management and utilization of earth resources and the cultural heritage of their relevance.

One of the main areas of research concerns freshwater ecosystems, particularly ecology and conservation of freshwater native crayfish and fish, and of study of the exotic ones. These skills have allowed to participate and implement applied research projects.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, as subcontractor in LIFE Nature projects, have been active in conservation, reintroduction and monitoring of
newly established crayfish populations; it experienced in crayfish breeding of Austropotamobius pallipes and methodologies of environmental analysis.

It has defined the distribution of native species, and also it has conducted studies for containment of allochthonous species, Procambarus clarkii and Pacifastacus
. It designed the Action Plan for the conservation of A. pallipes, the texts of booklets and informative panels, participated in the execution of the projects of environmental education and training for operators

Università degli studi di Pavia