The General Directorate “Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development” of the Lombardy Region is responsible for the Natura 2000 network coordination under the D.P.R. 357/97 and art. 25bis of the Regional Law 86 of 1983, in respect of the aspects related to the promotion and verification of conservation status and management measures of the Natura 2000 sites. The direct management is entrusted to the management bodies of the sites, largely coinciding with regional or national protected areas. Since 1996 the Region co-financed a number of LIFE Nature projects which guaranteed conservation, management and improvement of habitats and protected species along with communication of the Natura 2000 network.
ERSAF, the Regional Body for Agriculture and Forestry, is a technical body of the Lombardy Region set up in 2002 to implement technical and promotional activities for the development of agriculture, forestry and of the rural areas, with a transversal, multi-functional and integrated approach. ERSAF is active mainly in the following areas: support to the regional government for planning and managing of agricultural, land use planning, protection of non-renewable resources and civil protection policies; support to the development of strategic agricultural and agri-food sectors; protection of forests and agroforestry. ERSAF manages 15 Natura 2000 sites in Lombardy and has participated in the past 10 years in six projects financed by the European LIFE Program.
The State Forestry Corps (CFS) is a police force specialized in the protection of natural heritage and landscape, in the prevention and prosecution of offenses in the environmental and agro-food fields. It also manages some state-owned areas as well as supervising Parks, Natural Protected Areas and 130 State Natural Reserves. The activity is aimed at contrasting environmental crimes with special regards to the protection of mountain and rural areas, illegal waste disposal, illegal building, the protection of landscapes and high natural value territories, water and air, fauna and flora. CFS exercises the surveillance actions at national level on N2K sites and it is the competent authorities in Italy for the release CITES certifications and for police controls, including activities related to the control of alien species at national level.
Founded in 1965, the Italian Bird Protection League (LIPU) has as its objective the protection of nature, with particular reference to natural habitats and wild birds. LIPU pursues its objectives through the implementation of specific projects, the management of 30 natural oases and reserves and 12 Wildlife Recovery Centres, and the organization of educational and awareness raising campaigns. LIPU, a non-profit organization, is an environmental association, recognized by the Ministry of Environment and a moral entity recognized by the President of the Republic, an accredited institution of scientific research, a voluntary association, and the Italian partner of BirdLife International – the first worldwide network of associations for the conservation of birds and biodiversity – and a member of the IUCN.
Founded in 1966, WWF Italy is a no-profit national organization independent from WWF International, probably the most important non-governmental organization on environmental issues in the world. WWF is recognized as an NGO by a government decree (493 of 4 April 1974). It counts on about 280,000 members who can actively participate in the activities “on the field “. The main activities of WWF are the management of protected areas, the elaboration of action plans for protected species and sites, the management of conservation projects, legal activities connected to nature conservation, environmental education.
The staff of Comunità Ambiente includes naturalists, biologists, architects and journalists with a specific experience in the field of nature conservation, with a specific experience in the process related to the creation of the Natura 2000 network, to N2K management plans and projects and the evaluation of scientific and administrative reports. The main clients of Comunità Ambiente are public bodies including, among others, the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of the Environment, the Province of Rome and of Terni, the Municipality of Florence. The expertise gained through studies and projects related to Natura 2000 and to the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems facilitates an updated knowledge of nature conservation plans.
The Lombardy Foundation for the Environment (FLA) operates in the fields of research, training and information concerning primarily: the study and protection of biodiversity and protected areas; the study of problems related to environmental protection against pollution; training and dissemination of modern environmental science-based culture, supported by its editorial publications.
For several years the sector Biodiversity and Protected Areas of the Foundation has been furnishing support to local and regional policies by developing projects for the protection of habitats and species, also in relation to the administration of the Natura 2000 network.
Within the Italian and European panorama the Cariplo Foundation is a major foundation originated by a bank to be active in the fields of scientific research, arts and culture, human services and the environment. The Foundation acts in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, so as not to replace but to support civil society organizations working for the public good. Since its founding in 1991, the Cariplo Foundation has funded more than 25,000 projects promoted by non-profit organizations, for a total of about 2.2 billion euro. Since 2007 the Foundation has activated the invitation to tender “To protect and enhance biodiversity” that has funded numerous direct measures and feasibility studies.