Networking to preserve Adriatic coastal dune habitats

The LIFE Programme recognises the importance of "networking" and supports activities that develop relationships between individual projects that have elements in common, such as themes, methodologies, objectives, or categories of stakeholders. In this perspective, LIFE REDUNE and LIFE CALLIOPE (Coastal dune habitats, sublittoral sandbanks marine reefs: conservation, protection, and threats mitigation. Https://, both dedicated to the protection of the coastal environment, have started at the end of December 2020 a collaboration to share results and experiences.

Both projects operate in territories where there are still some areas with dune ecosystems that are however seriously threatened by tourism activities, unsustainable fishing, alteration of their morphology and vegetation removal actions.

These problems are partly addressed by the two projects with common approaches: the reconstruction of the dune cordon, the requalification of the habitats with the transplanting of new plants produced in greenhouses and the fight against invasive species, the involvement of local authorities for an eco-sustainable territorial development and the reduction of anthropic pressure also through the environmental education of tourists and residents.

Focusing on two specific thematic aspects, LIFE REDUNE and LIFE CALLIOPE have organised two joint events to exchange information, benefit from new technical approaches and achieve greater capacity to operate at national and European level.

The webinar "Visiting nurseries: good practices from LIFE REDUNE and LIFE CALLIOPE" was dedicated to sharing knowledge on propagation techniques for mobile dune species; this webinar was held on Thursday 29 October 2020. An unexpected result of the meeting was the decision to jointly draft a "Manual of propagation of dune species" between the two projects, which aims to document the experience of nursery production of numerous species of the Adriatic coastal dune habitats, providing technical identification and cultivation sheets for each species.

The webinar "Reconstruction and monitoring of mobile dunes: good practices of LIFE REDUNE and LIFE CALLIOPE" led to the sharing of knowledge and good practices on techniques for reconstruction and rehabilitation of mobile dunes. The collaboration was also extended to the Interreg Italy-Croatia project CASCADE (CoAStal and marine waters integrated monitoring systems for ecosystems proteCtion AnD managemEnt, for issues related to remote monitoring of ecosystems in the project sites. This webinar was held on Friday 4 December 2020 and was live-streamed simultaneously on the Facebook pages of Life REDUNE and Life CALLIOPE.

The two webinars and subsequent contacts made it possible to establish relationships and create synergies between universities, nurseries, experts and European projects on the topic. In addition, the events started the process of participation and involvement of stakeholders who participated in the webinars such as ARSARP Molise and the associations Ambiente Basso Molise, Legambiente Abruzzo and Legambiente Molise.