BIONET – Preserving Biodiversity in Veneto
In the region of Veneto a network of actors cooperated to preserve biodiversity and to provide targeted support to farmers engaged in this task.
Protecting biodiversity is a key priority for the Veneto Region. However, farmers need support on their efforts to ensure the preservation of all animal and plant species at risk of exstinction. Financial support is often not sufficient and professional advice might be required. Farmers need targeted advice and information actions. It is also necessary to ensure that this kind of support can be economically sustainable in the long term, in order for it not to be completely dependent on public support.
In this context, the project created a network of actors in the region committed to recover and preserve biodiversity and support all farmers engaged in this task. Among the members of the network were included regional authorities, universities, research institutes, professional schools, etc. In the first phases of the project implementation the network identified breeds and species to be targeted within the programme. Once these were identified, specific working groups were created to carry on preservation activities. Activities included targeted support to farmers, information and dissemination actions, seminars, conferences, etc.
All species and breeds identified in the preliminary phase of the project were classified and samples were kept in laboratories and experimental fields/farms. Farmers were encouraged and supported to use these species.
The working groups and the targeted support to farmers participating in the programme helped increase the use of these local species as well as the number of farmers joining the programme.
The BIONET network facilitated the dissemination of information about the economic and natural value of preserving biodiversity. Three biodiversity days were organised involving students, public institutions and other professionals to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity in agriculture.