EMU-UNICAM Join Forces to Pilot BETTER Life Toolkit in Italian Case Studies

On March 18-20, 2024, a BETTER Life team of the Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU), including Anton Shkaruba and Siiri Külm, visited the University of Camerino (UNICAM). The purposes of the visit were to identify case studies for piloting the BETTER Life Toolkit no.1 “Supporting Interaction of Community, Science, and Governance”, and to work on a joint paper presenting and discussing the toolkit and its applications across Europe.

Camerino is situated in the region of Marche, close to Umbria. Its medieval core was heavily damaged by earthquake strikes in 2016, with most of the historical buildings still waiting to be renovated and made suitable for living. One of the case studies for deploying the toolkit was chosen right next to this area: we will explore how the ecosystem disservices (EDS) framework used in the toolkit can help to manage the vegetation of the slopes below the city walls. Another case will be taken from a different part of the Marche region: the natural parc Sentina at the mouth of River Tronto and on the periphery of the harbour city San Benedetto del Tronto will be studied to understand how ecosystem disservices have been managed, and how communication and management tools worked to achieve understanding with local communities. The visit also included a trip to the city of Perugia in Umbria and its peripheries. It yielded one more case study idea: green areas of Perugia are connected to Natura2000 sites, and this provides access to undesirable wildlife, such as wild boars, to the city core. The toolkit and its EDS framework will be deployed to come up with a compromise between biodiversity conservation objectives and well well-being of citizens. These new case studies will enhance the BETTER Life toolkit description and will be discussed in a paper jointly developed by EMU and UNICAM teams.