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Conserving environmental assets whilst delivering economic growth Seminar: Making the economic case for environmental integration 23 February 2005
What is it? The protection and enhancement of the region’s environmental assets provides basis for enabling economic development. These assets are both the natural (landscape, biodiversity) and the built and historic environment. Two questions: 1. Have these assets an economic value? 2. Can their conservation and improvement promote economic development?
The need Economic activities that most directly utilise the natural and cultural environment (agroindustrial sector, fishing and tourism) provide an important contribution to the region's wealth, in terms of GDP and employment. Sicily has identified environmental and cultural assets as key factors of the regional development strategy The protected areas of Sicily amount to about 20% of the regional territory Sicily has 20% of the national cultural and historic heritage The conservation and improvement of natural and cultural assets can contribute to reduce the development gap between coastal and inland territories.
How to deliver this? The following approaches Maintain and enhance high quality environments Ensure access to high quality environments Regenerate degraded and derelict environments Improve local environmental quality
Case-study: Rural issues and opportunities feasibility study for RIO – Goss Moor and Environs Consulted the community to produce an area action plan and raised local appreciation of of Goss Moor and its surroundings. Secured £1.2 million of EU investment for a habitat restoration project.
Case-study: Working Woodlands 2 Public and private sector partnership It provides capital investment and business development support services to timber/wood businesses.
Case-study Shellfish stock survey The project collected baseline data about the population size/structure of brown crabs and lobsters in Cornish waters to assess/conserve the long-term viability of the £3 million industry that relies on these stocks.
Case-study Castrovillari urban development programme The Urban Development Programme of Castrovillari city with a specific focus on environmental integration while producing economic benefits.
Case-study: Environment as an economic driver within the Integrated Regional Programme (IRP) Sicilian Ecological Network (SEN)
The protected areas of Sicilia Region amount to about 20% of the regional territory: 4 Regional Parks; 75 natural reserves; 218 “Natura 2000” Sites. According to the Directive 92/43/EEC, the ROP 2000 – 2006 Sicilia Region provides for the creation of an ecological network identifying also the tool to be used: the Integrated Regional Programme. The context
The Regional Integrated Programme aims to coordinating the implementation of two or more ROP’s measures in the perspective of a common development objective. This case study is focused on identifying how the environment works as an economic driver within the IRP SEN. At this regard, the relevant issues are: Strategic objective Methodology Implementation The Regional Integrated Programme
Strategic objective The IRP tries to integrate environmental, social and economic objectives. The Programme’s mission is to create the Sicilian Ecological Network by connecting all regional protected areas (parks, natural reserves, “Natura 2000” sites) in order to ensure, at the same time, the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and a sustainable development of the SEN territories. It contributes also to achieving the objective (established by the ROP) to reduce the development gap between coastal and inland territories.
Methodology According to the provisions of the Programme Complement, the strategic objective was articulated in 8 priorities: Conservation; Environmental education; Strenghtening key areas; New managing systems for natural areas; Promoting new SMEs; Improving environmental performance of SMEs; Sustainable Tourism, Transport, and Fishereis; GIS and information technology.
It was established which among the 71 measures of the ROP could be used for the implementation of the IRP on the basis of their coherence with its mission, strategic objective and priorities. For istance, measure n. 4.04 of the Programme Complement “Local development tools” that finances the implementation of environmental management systems (EMAS, ISO 14001) was included in the priority “Improving environmental performance of SMEs”. This analysis led to a set of 36 measures considered coherent with the Programme. Methodology
Ecological network Objectives IRP36Measures ROP 71 Measures
The Managing Authority of IRP is fully involved in the drafting of calls for proposals concerning the measures belonging to the priorities. At the moment the most interesting experiences concern the following measures 2.01 Conservation and use of cultural and environmental heritage 4.06 Investments for agricolture and zootechny 4.09 EMAS and Ecolabel in the agroindustrial sector 4.13 High quality agricolture products marketing 4.14 Improvement of rural infrastructures 4.15 Investments for agritourism 5.02 Urban re-qualification Implementation
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