Project LIFE FORESTALL - Restoration of Alluvial Forests and Cladium mariscus habitats in Ramsar and Natura 2000 sites

LIFE Programme - Sector: Nature (project code: LIFE18 NAT/IT/001020 )

Coordinating Beneficiary: CORILA – Consorzio per il coordinamento delle ricerche inerenti al sistema lagunare di Venezia

Associated Beneficiaries (partners): SELC soc. coop., WWF Oasi soc. Unipers. a.r.l., Provveditorato Interregionale per le Opere Pubbliche per il Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia del Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti, Cooperativa Sociale Primavera Società Cooperativa Sociale ONLUS.

Total project budget: 1,809,697 €;  EU financial contribution requested: 1,350,396 € (= 75.00% of total eligible budget).

Expected duration of the project: 48 months; Start date: 01/10/2019 - Expected end date: 30/09/2023

Project Area:  Valle Averto WWF Oasis, 78.15 ha.


The Valle Averto Oasis is within the UNESCO site “Venice and its lagoon”, C 394, the Ramsar site “Valle Averto-IT042“ (Ramsar Convention), the Special Area of Conservation IT325030 "Laguna medio inferiore di Venezia" and of the Special Protection Area IT3250046 "Laguna di Venezia".  

Valle Averto Oasis is a “Restricted area” (Law n. 431/1985, Law n. 171/1973, PTRC approved with DCR n.250/91 and DCR n.382/92, PALAV approved with DCR n.70/95), “Restricted area for landscape” (DM BB.CC.AA. 1/8/1985), “Natural oasis of protection of flora and fauna" (L.R. n.30 / 78 - Regione del Veneto) and it is included in the State Natural Reserve “Valle Averto”, (Ministry of the Environment, no. 40, 3/5/93).

LIFE FORESTALL aims at the restoration and conservation of priority habitats 7210 * Calcareous fens with Cladium mariscus and 91E0 * - Alluvial forests of Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior.

Valle Averto WWF Oasis is the only area within the Special Area of Conservation IT325030 "Laguna medio inferiore di Venezia" and of the Special Protection Area IT3250046 "Laguna di Venezia" where, it has been ascertained, that these two priority habitats are known to exist.

The 7210* habitat will be developed from the current 0.03 ha up to an extension of approximately 6.19 ha with the presence of Cladium mariscus as the dominant species (planting of 10,000 Cladium plants and 4,300 plants of other species).

The 91E0* habitat will be developed from the current 0.64 ha up to an extension of approximately 11.60 ha with the planting of 24.400 herbaceous, shrub and arboreal plants.

We will proceed with the remodeling of soil, the removal of Rubus spp. and the periodic flooding of terrestrial habitats to favor the development of the two aforementioned habitats of priority interest.

The project involves the dredging of selected sectors of the existing channel network and installation of new sluice gates to ameliorate the regulation of water levels in order to flood when needed the intervention site, favoring the development of the two habitats listed above. This will allow to maintain low water levels, to provide feeding sites for flamingos, spoonbills, Kentish plovers and other small birds, or high water levels, if the target species are diving ducks (Ferruginous Duck), Litle Egrets, Night Herons.

Valle Averto Oasis may represent the only nesting site for A021 Botaurus stellaris* in the whole SPA IT3250046 "Lagoon of Venice". With concrete actions, it will be possible to decrease the water depth when and where needed to favor the staying of A034 Platalea leucorodia (observed throughout the year) and of A035 Phenicopterus roseus.

LIFE FORESTALL project also includes the building of new rafts to provide species of community importance such as Recurvirostra avosetta; Himantopus himantopus; Charadrius alexandrinus, Sterna hirundo, Sternula albifrons with safe nesting places.

Another project objective is the killing of most of the R. pseudoacacia trees (70% reduction), the complete eradication of B. halimifolia shrubs and the S. glanis removal (at least 80% reduction).

The existing small facilities will be improved for educational purposes, increasing the attractiveness for the general public, gaining a better awareness of the importance of nature conservation among local population and far-coming visitors. Special open days dedicated to LIFE FORESTALL are expected in Valle Averto Oasis with interactive guided tours and special open days for school age children of neighbouring municipalities will be organized. Teachers and students will be provided with educational material.

In the concrete actions of the project will be employed disadvantaged local workers of the social cooperative, partner of the project, favoring at the same time the social and work integration.