Marano Lagoon – Wetland Contract

Marano Lagoon – Wetland Contract


Status: in progress

Categorization: tourism, habitat and biodiversity, cultural heritage, local development, climate change, water quality

Country: Italy

Period: /

Contact info

Name: Comunità Riviera Friulana

Organization: Comunità Riviera Friulana


Contact address:


Summary description: The activity aims at implementing and subscribing a Wetland Contract in the target area through the following progressive steps: - identifying the institutional management bodies for the Wetlands Contracts (Coordinating Committee / Management Board and Technical Secretariat); - developing of Territorial Labs for the participated governance; - defining mid-long term strategic scenarios; - sharing and assessing the strategic scenarios; - drafting the Action Plan and subscription of the formal agreement of the Wetland Contract during the Local Final Conference (press conference). The actors subscribing the Contract will be committed of: (i) acting in the frame of valorising of the subsidiarity principle, in respect of every actor’s competences; (ii) activating all the partnership tools; (iii) keep working and monitoring the process even after the project end. The project aims to define an action plan (all objectives, activities and stakeholders’ responsibilities to be carried out, timing and financing planned) that will be subscribed by the key stakeholders during the Local Final Conference.

Type: project

EU Challenges for sustainable tourism: (i) preserving and giving value to natural and cultural heritage and diversity, (iii) enhancing local community prosperity and quality of life, (v) limiting the environmental impact of tourism-related transport, (viii) mitigating and adapting to climate change

EU Principles: (i) taking a holistic and integrated approach (economic, social and environmental aspects), (iii) involving stakeholders, (v) promoting awareness and commitment

Reason of interest for COASTING: The Marano Lagoon is a vulnerable and delicate area that needs non-variable water thicknesses, so as not to compromise and modify the ecology; stresses that water levels are closely linked to climate change and consequently the lagoon requires continuous observations. The territory is interested in agricultural and industrial activity which in the past interfered with the lagoon dynamics. There is a need for a sustainable economical and touristic use of the wetland and a Re-acquisition from an identifying point of view of the lagoon and the territory by the local community. The Marano Lagoon wetland contract has been activated by the Interreg Italia - Croatia CREW Project and it is a good practice for the application of the Environmental Contract tool in a Mediterranean brackish wetland.

Financial information

Budget: 0.00 €

Financial sources: N/A

Background information

Territorial context: The Marano lagoon is a brackish wetland formed by subsidence phenomena and by deposit of fine sediment carried by Tagliamento, Isonzo and Stella rivers. The total area, estimated at 160 sq km, develops parallel to the coastline for about 32 km. The Stella river mouth generates the sole delta present in an Adriatic lagoon environment. The contribution of freshwater accounts for 70-80%. The balance of the transformations of the salt marshes is negative in the most recent period, with accentuated erosion phenomena. Among these the main forcing seems to be subsidence (in particular the local one deriving from compaction of clayey sediment and peat), followed by the transit of boats and natural wave motion. The geomorphological characteristics of the area have been largely modified by the action of man who has gradually recovered, through reclamation for agricultural or industrial uses, environments previously characterized by swamps that served as a link between the mainland and the sea.


Regulation framework: In the Italian legal system, negotiated programming “accordo di programmazione negoziata” is defined by law n.662 / 1996, article 2 paragraph 203 letter a. The main regulations concerning the Environmental Contracts are: National Charter of River Contracts (2010). National Environmental Code D.Lgs 152/2006 art. 68-bis. The Regional Law of 29 April 2015, n. 11 "Organic discipline on soil protection and water use" which defines and structures the negotiated planning process of the River Contracts (articles 12 and 15). The Regional Council Resolution n. 1448/2016, with which the FVG Region adhered to the National Charter of the CdF, starting the promotion and support activities for the diffusion of the CdF on the regional territory.

Specific information

Objectives: The main objectives are: TOURISM AND TRADITIONS Enhancement of identity elements and traditions from a tourist point of view; Contribute to greater coordination in the promotion of the lagoon area, also in terms of landscape and economic development; Enhancement of slow and conscious mobility FISHING, HEALTH, BIODIVERSITY AND RESERVES Contribute to the improvement of water quality; Protection of biodiversity; Salinity of the lagoon, depth of the main and secondary channels PROMOTION AND DEVELOPEMENT Activate a process of public participation on issues related to the lagoon and the landscape in -order to share choices and strategies; Tourist enhancement of the lagoon environment also through slow and conscious mobility; Re-acquisition from an identifying point of view of the lagoon and the territory by the local community as an element that can be used both from a recreational, naturalistic and cultural point of view; Integration between the economic and tourist use of the lagoon.

Developers (and governance): UTI Riviera Bassa Friulana / Comunità Riviera Friulana

Beneficiaries: Local communities, farmers, tourists.

Innovation aspects: Multilevel and multistakeholder approach

Actions: The Action developed in the implementation of this environmental contract are related to the following seven macro-themes: GOVERNANCE, SLOW MOBILITY, SUSTAINABLE TOURISM, GEOMORPHOLOGY, BIODIVERSITY, EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Stakeholders involvement: UTI Riviera Bassa Friulana / Comunità Riviera Friulana held a series of participatory events from February 2020 to February 2021 involving various stakeholders, including: Autorità di Bacino Distrettuale delle Alpi Orientali, Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, PromoTurismoFVG, Università di Trieste - Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Architettura, Comune di Marano Lagunare, Comune di Carlino, Comune di Latisana, Comune di Lignano Sabbiadoro, Comune di Muzzana del Turgnano, Comune di Palazzolo dello Stella, Comune di Pocenia, Comune di Porpetto, Comune di Precenicco, Comune di Ronchis, Comune di San Giorgio di Nogaro, Associazione Valle del Cormor, Gruppo Passaggio a Nord Ovest Carlino Marano Muzzana, Associazione Casoneri, leading to the development of the Action Plan and the subscription of the Wetland Contract of Marano Lagoon by the key actors.

Results achieved: These are the seven macro-themes regarding the expected results: GOVERNANCE, SLOW MOBILITY, SUSTAINABLE TOURISM, GEOMORPHOLOGY, BIODIVERSITY, EDUCATION AND TRAINING. The wetland contract process aim's to a new approach to the touristic use of the territory as well as a different approach to the economic and productive use of the wetland. The governance and management of the water level and salinity degree pass through a biodiversity conservation approach and of environmental awareness mediated by education and training initiatives.

Potential for learning and transfer

Challenges and obstacles: This is the first wetland contract to be signed in the region. The restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 hindered meetings and field activity. Public bodies are strictly limited to their scope.

Success factors: First Contract to be signed in the FVG region - Synergy with the Lagoon management plan - Cooperation with the regional bodies in creating a permanent table for River/Lake/Coast/Wetland contracts

Transferability in COASTING project: The methodology implemented is fully transferable to other brackish wetland environments across the Mediterranean basin. The issues and pressure insisting on these kinds of ecosystems are often common among a broad range of geographically distinct areas. The Actions identified for this project will probably be very suitable for conflict resolution and for the conservation of the fragile lagoon ecosystem.