Marine Protected Area in Capri, Legambiente: “This is how the area is protected from ‘plant and run’ tourism”

The first phase of the site’s construction is nearing completion A sheltered harbor on the island of Capri and with the involvement of both interested categories and citizens, it could reach its destination already at the beginning of the next tourist season. This will expire in a few days submission of comments on the zoning proposal document sent by Ispra (Higher Institute of Environmental Protection and Research) reserved for citizens. In order for the citizens and business associations of the island of Capri to present their observations, they will have until January 23, 2024, by 12 noon, to fill in the forms of some of the forms published by the municipalities of the island on their websites.

Nabil Pulita, head of Legambiente Capristates Kodami: “There is some hesitancy to establish a Marine Protected Area on Capri, because it is believed that by establishing borders one can deny access to that particular area, but in fact it is possible to protect in this way an environment which, especially in recent years, is under siege due to a significant increase in tourist influx. Establishing a protected area would mean respecting the rules of conduct which would protect biological diversity and at the same time create quality tourism. In the summer, Capri is flooded with tourists, especially the so-called ‘hit and run’ tourism, which does nothing to benefit the marine heritage that surrounds us.’

Pulita also explains why there was such a delay in the decision to establish a marine protected area on Capri: “The succession of different administrations that had conflicting views on this important decision certainly slowed down the implementation of a project of this magnitude: environmental protection requires appropriate sustainability policies. The hesitancy of some is due to the fact that limiting the area would mean, in a certain sense, limiting the influx of tourists. But many areas present, even if you just think of Campania, show the opposite. Preserving biodiversity means not only creating more attentive tourism, but ensuring that people come into contact with the environment, respect it and protect it. For example, the replacement of motor boats with environmentally sustainable boats may seem like an insignificant action, but it would bring benefits over time – continues Pulita – I must say that there is a common interest among the islanders to preserve the biodiversity of the island. The concerns of a few people are only related to economic and tourism factors. But those are fears that will be proven wrong on the pitch.”

As regards zoningwe mean one the vertical division of the seabed into zones or planes, characterized by indices such as tide, light and presence of plants and others. The figure below, published by ISPRA, presents a proposal for zone levels and corresponding regulations for activities used in Italian marine protected areas.


The 31 marine protected areas present in Italy were established thanks to the Law for the Defense of the Sea, which dates back to 1982. But there are several hundred sites besides them. NATURA2000 created to protect rare or endangered species or habitat types, such as poseidonia or deep-sea corals, capable of absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide and thus removing it from the biosphere. In fact, Greenpeace, which has been campaigning for years to create more and more protected areas, has shown through studies how much these areas protect animals and plants, especially endangered species, and that marine reserves can also be able to counter the effects of global warming.

In this scenario of instability, the European Union, in its Biodiversity Strategy, requires member countries to adapt to protect at least 30 percent of their seas by 2030. Currently only 20%, Italy will have to move to recover.

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