Sentina Reserve Wetland Contract

Sentina Reserve Wetland Contract


Status: in progress

Categorization: habitat and biodiversity

Country: Italy

Period: 19.12.2019 /

Contact info

Name: Sergio Trevisani

Organization: City of San Benedetto del Tronto




Summary description: The Sentina Reserve Wetland Contract is an Environmental Contract whose process started in 2019 in the framework of the European project CREW "Coordinated Wetland management in Italy-Croatia Cross Border Region", co-financed by the CBC 2014-2020 Interreg V-A Italy-Croatia Programme. The Municipality of San Benedetto del Tronto, as managing body of Sentina Reserve boosted a participatory process from July 2019 to April 2021 involving various stakeholders, leading to the development of the Action Plan and the subscription of the Wetland Contract of Sentina Natural Regional Reserve area by 16 key actors.

Type: other

EU Challenges for sustainable tourism: (i) preserving and giving value to natural and cultural heritage and diversity


Reason of interest for COASTING: The Wetland Contract is a governance tool aiming at balancing environmental protection and local development.

Financial information

: 0.00 €

Financial sources: The Wetland Contract process was funded by CREW project (CBC 2014-2020 Interreg V-A Italy-Croatia Programme). The implementation of the actions included in the Action Plan will be funded by the Municipality, the Region, CIIP AATO5 and the Coast Guard.

Background information

Territorial context: The Sentina Nature Reserve covers 177 hectares, entirely within the territory of the Municipality of San Benedetto del Tronto, between the town of Porto d'Ascoli to the north and River Tronto to the south. The area has a coastal front of about 1.6 km. Its importance is linked to the fact that it is the only residual wetland area in the wide stretch of the Adriatic coastline, over 400 km long, between the Comacchio Valleys and Lesina and Varano lagoons, and it presents relict ecological conditions in an almost completely anthropized territory. Currently it has unique floristic characteristics and, above all, from the fauna point of view, it plays a decisive role for migratory avifauna, thus representing a strategic element for the ecological network, also in a vast area.

Relation to policies and strategies: - Water Framework Directive - Habitat Directive 92/43/EC - Birds Directive 2009/147/EC - Central Apennine Basin District Management Plan - Five-year Plan for protected areas Marche Region (PQuAP) - Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan Marche Region - Natura 2000 sites SCI IT5340001 and SPA IT5340022 - Sentina Reserve Management Plan

Regulation framework: The Wetland Contract is regulated by article 68 bis Testo Unico Ambientale (DLgs152/06) and the formal agreement is a NEGOTIATED PROGRAMMING AGREEMENT pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 203 letter a) of Law 662/96.

Specific information

Objectives: O.G.1 Improving the ability of stakeholders of the Sentina area to implement shared decisions and manage conflicts O.G.2 Introduction of new governance tools for a wide area O.G.3 Data and knowledge sharing O.A.1 Improvement of water resource quality O.E.2 Recovery and reuse of the water resource O.E.3 Improvement of hydraulic safety O.E.4 Fighting coastal erosion O.E.5 Safeguarding nature and biodiversity O.E.6 Mitigation of the degradation phenomena of the Sentina ecosystem O.E.7 Fighting and mitigating climate change O.D.1 Sustainable agriculture with low environmental impact O.D.2 Recovery, preservation and enhancement of the historical and cultural landscape and promotion of low environmental impact economies O.D.3 Improvement of the tourist use of the area and the territory according to the principles of environmental sustainability O.D.4 Environmental education and awareness-raising

Developers (and governance): The coordinator of the Wetland Contract is the Municipality of San Benedetto del Tronto. Other signatories are: Municipality of Martinsicuro, Municipality of Ascoli Piceno, Province of Ascoli Piceno, Province of Teramo, Marche Region, Abruzzo Region, Central Apennine District Basin Authority, CIIP AATO5, Sentina Association, Legambiente Circolo Lu Cucale of San Benedetto del Tronto, L.I.D.A., Marche a rifiuti Zero Association, University of Camerino, Selva Giurata Farm business.

Beneficiaries: Local communities.

Innovation aspects: The Wetland Contract is an innovative tool for integrated governance.

Actions: The process included 8 workshops. The Action Plan includes structural and governance actions that will be implemented in 4 years: - requalification of the ditches and of the hydrographic basins - safeguard of the beach and of the dune - implementation of conservation measures of the existing sea SCI - installation of a "plastic catcher" - creation of slow mobility infrastructure - implementation of fit-for-purpose wastewater reuse systems - reintroduction of protected animal and plant species - environmental education and awareness-raising activities - beach and marine litter awareness campaign - environmental and water monitoring - governance actions (negotiation tables and expansion of the Contract to the entire Tronto River)

Stakeholders involvement: The Wetland Contract process included 8 working tables for stakeholder involvement using EASW. At the ninth table it was signed the formal agreement of the Contract by 16 actors.

Results achieved: The Wetland Contract process led to the signature of the formal agreement with which the signatories undertake to collaborate for the sustainable development of the Sentina Reserve. The associations will cooperate with the managing body for the surveillance and growth of the areas, to fight pollution and to improve the environment. The consortia (AATO5 and CIIP) will take care of necessary hydraulic interventions. Marche and Abruzzo Region are planning to build a cycle bridge over the Tronto River.

Potential for learning and transfer

Challenges and obstacles: The process took place without significant problems of involvement of local stakeholders, with the exception of the difficulty in organising public meetings since March 2020, due to the Covid emergency. The stakeholders proved to be cooperative and proactive in the activities carried out and in the negotiation phase, investing both personnel and financial resources of their own for the activities planned in the coming years for a more innovative and sustainable management of the Sentina Reserve.

Success factors: The process was characterized by a high degree of participation and involvement, and managed to legitimize an authentic process negotiation and co-responsibility.

Transferability in COASTING project: The Sentina Reserve Wetland Contract is a good practice from which to learn (i) how to implement the principle set out in the Italian National Charter of River Contracts of considering them as opportunities for hierarchizing the objectives of existing programs and systematizing financial resources; (ii) how the results of the Wetland Contract have been made concrete and effective, through the integration of the actions identified in the Action Program of the Wetland Contract in the Quadrennial Action Program of the 2021-2024 Reserve.