Coinciding with the European Day of Parks on 24 May, the World Wildlife Fund released its first white paper on the state of Italys parks, detailing the merits and flaws of the countrys nature management. With 777 protected areas, including 23 national and 105 regional parks, 24 marine reserves, more than a third of the animal species and almost half the plant species in Europe, Italy is a little bit of paradise. But with funding for protected areas down by over 4 million in four years, WWF is anxious for the future, in terms of combating fires, poaching, and tree-felling; areas of concern include Parco Nazionale del Pollino in southern Italy. It also fears the encroachment of car parks, roads and power lines (eg. linked to the ski industry around Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio in northern Italy), as well as illegal tipping and construction. But its not all bad news. Mountainous areas generally fare well thanks to projects safeguarding biodiversity, establishing good relationships with local communities, and introducing measures and guidelines for good management and eco-friendly tourism, for example the Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi.
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