Bioclimate: a call to companies to save 16 ecosystems and 22 species in Lombardy

Bioclima is an initiative that represents the largest public-private partnership in the European Union for the conservation of biodiversity and the enhancement of ecosystem services of forests in Lombardy Region.

Bioclimate: the objectives of the “biodiversity and climate” call for proposals

The goal of the call for proposals “Biodiversity and Climate” (BioClima) launched by the Lombardy Region is to enhance and restore 16 Lombardy habitats, five of which at risk of disappearance, safeguarding the survival of 22 native animal and plant species. This is a very important project for the protection of forests and biodiversity within the Lombardy Region that, with the allocation of 3.5 million euros, has set up an innovative formula in which public and private entities are directly involved in projects for the conservation of biodiversity, contrast and adaptation to climate change and enhancement of ecosystem services.

Just think that the Lombardy territory counts something like 246 Natura 2000 sites, i.e. alpine or plain protected areas that are part of a wide European network; however, looking at some data on the conservation status of habitats, we discover that 41% of those in the alpine area are in a favourable state, while in the plain only 10%. Pollutants, unsustainable silvicultural management, crop abandonment but above all the effect of the climate crisis and the introduction of exotic species are threatening delicate ecosystems such as wetlands, high altitude habitats, pastures, woods and forests.

Who is the Bioclima call for proposals addressed to?

The call, addressed to the managing bodies of forests and protected areas of Natura 2000 sites and public administrations in general, provides for the candidature of projects co-financed for at least 30%.

Interested bodies are provided with a technical assistance service, provided thanks to Fondazione Cariplo by the University of Padua spin-off Etifor, to support the design of interventions related to the measurement, independent verification and enhancement of ecosystem services and in the activity of finding co-financing. Private partners through co-financing can help generate positive impacts for the territory and citizens.

The projects, which can be applied for until May 3, 2022, must therefore: contribute to the creation of new lowland forests and the improvement of existing ones, in line with the European objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, expand the area of habitats useful for biodiversity conservation and green infrastructure, in line with the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, while increasing the provision of ecosystem services and their economic value by making more resilient habitats and human communities.

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