TUNE UP: Ventotene and Santo Stefano Protected Areas Contract

TUNE UP: Ventotene and Santo Stefano Protected Areas Contract


Status: in progress

Categorization: habitat and biodiversity

Country: Italy

Period: /

Contact info

Name: Anna Laura Palazzo

Organization: University of Roma Tre

Email: Annalaura.palazzo@uniroma3.it



Summary description: The Ventotene and Santo Stefano Protected Areas Contract is an Environmental Contract whose process started in 2020. Its Memorandum of Understanding was signed in June 2021. This Protected Areas Contract is a collaborative pact based on the participation of all local and institutional stakeholders, to overcome the conflicts between the different instances of marine ecosystem protection, land management and local development. The institutional body in charge for the design of a shared road map of sustainability and resilience is the Municipality of Ventotene, which is the promotor of the Contract.

Type: other


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 Ventotene and Santo Stefano Protected Areas Contract is one of the pilots of TUNE UP

Financial information

: 0.00 €

Financial sources: TBD

Background information

Territorial context: NO CABEE....Ventotene and Santo Stefano are two islands of the Pontine Archipelago in the province of Latina. Ventotene, the greater of the two, extends over an area of about 2800 meters long and 800 meters wide. Santo Stefano, the islet in front, is one nautical mile from it and is the seat of the homonymous prison closed for over 50 years. This important heritage of culture, history and nature is protected by a State Natural Reserve and a Marine Protected Area. The islands of Ventotene and Santo Stefano are part of the Pontine Archipelago in the province of Latina. The Marine Protected extends off the coast of about 10 km up to the 100m bathymetry. The MPA is divided into three zones with different degrees of protection and is currently under review. Concerning the State Natural Reserve, there is still no Management Plan and zoning. The Islands boast a very complex landscape consisting of high cliffs, submerged caves and rough basalt cliffs interspersed with green promontories that descend towards the sea. The MPA/SNR has 3 Natura2000 sites: SAC IT6000018 "


Regulation framework: Italy and Lazio Region already have a regulatory framework for Environmental Contracts (River/Lake/Wetland). Lazio Region will integrate the MPA Contract into this framework. Specifically, the main regulations concerning the Environmental Contracts are: • National Charter of River Contracts (2010) • National Environmental Code art. 68-bis • Regional Stability Law 17/2016, which formally adopted the River Contracts with article 3 paragraphs 95 and 96.

Specific information

Objectives: The objectives framed within the Memorandum of Understanding of the Ventotene and Santo Stefano Protected Areas Contract are: (i) collaboration with the MPA Secche di Tor Paterno in order to implement joint research and monitoring activities; (ii) enhancement of the two protected areas of Ventotene and Santo Stefano; (iii) strengthening the network of local associations and cooperation among SME; (iv) development of sustainable tourism practices; (v) promotion of research and monitoring activities in collaboration with local actors (associations, diving ...); (vi) promotion of environmental education and awareness raising activities and (vii) strengthening of surveillance and control systems.

Developers (and governance): Municipality of Ventotene


Innovation aspects: The process of the Ventotene and Santo Stefano Protected Areas Contract has held together the two protected areas of the Municipality of Ventotene. It considered both marine and terrestrial ecosystems with the aim of addressing the critical issues of nature protection in an integrated manner but also to enhance the complex landscape and environment of the islands.

Actions: The participatory process, led by the Department of Architecture of Roma Tre University, from November 2020 to March 2021 involved about 30 participants including delegates and individual, representing organizations of the public and private sectors, stakeholders and citizens. It was divided into information meetings, thematic laboratories and focus groups. The need to take into account both the MPA and the State Natural Reserve emerged since the beginning of the process. Being a unique and interconnected environment and ecosystem, the islands’ issues cannot be treated separately. For this reason, the working group named this Contract “Ventotene and Santo Stefano Protected Areas Contract” instead of MPA Contract.

Stakeholders involvement: NO CABEE - - The Department of Architecture mapped 69 stakeholders that have authority, influence or interests in the pilot area. They appear to be equally distributed within the categories of national, regional and local Public Authorities, environmental and cultural associations, local cultural centres and higher education and research centres and a relevant number of touristic SME. This distribution unveils the mainly touristic vocation of the area. Moreover, the participatory process involved about 30 participants from about 20 institutions/associations: 1 National Environmental Research Center 3 Regional Public bodies/authorities 2 Regional agencies (environmental agency, tourism agency) 1 Provincial authority 3 Local Public bodies/authorities 1 Business support organisations (chamber of commerce) 1 Infrastructure and public service providers 4 Private businesses (i.e. SME) 1 National/regional Associations 2 Local associations 1 Higher education and

Results achieved: All the stakeholders were invited to the following Meetings in order to develop the participated SWOT analysis and the Trend Scenario, to define the objectives and strategic actions to be embedded into the Oriented and Preferred scenario. Finally, the Memorandum of Understanding (Manifesto d’Intenti) towards the Ventotene and Santo Stefano Protected Areas Contract was supported by 5 key stakeholders (Municipality of Ventotene, MPA/SNR Ventotene and S.Stefano Authority, Province of Latina, Port Autority of Ventotene, Department of Architecture of Roma Tre University) on 09/06/2021 with a Local Council Resolution.

Potential for learning and transfer

Challenges and obstacles: NO CABE - - The participatory process and the methodology used have been greatly impacted by the following factors: (i) social distancing imposed by Covid-19 health emergency, (ii) season during which the process was developed: winter. The MPA contract process was supposed to be launched at the beginning of summer 2020, but the local authorities proposed to wait the end of the high season to get more attention by local stakeholders. At the beginning of autumn, Covid-19


Transferability in COASTING project: This practice of Environmental Contract can be of interest in the case of the MPA falls within an island with protected mainland. In this case the protection on land and sea is considered into the perimeter of the Contract, recognizing the two ecosystems as integrated and in connection with local economies. The case of the islands, based on their proximity or distance from the coasts, allows to undertake a Protected Areas Contract, an Islands Contracts or even a Coast Contract. Furthermore, the practice to launch the MoU with few stakeholder is replicable in small and fragile contexts where Environmental Contracts are not well known; this mode allows to acquire more signatories of the MoU and their active involvement in the process incrementally.