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The Olona river: flowing biodiversity

How can we protect a highly urbanized ecosystem in a fragile balance? Through interventions to redevelop the green and blue corridor of river Olona and initiatives to encourage the rediscovery of an environment at risk.

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Project Sistema Olona. La Biodiversità che scorre 
Period 2016-2020
Sectors Natural Resources
Area Europe
Country Italy
Status Ongoing
Partner Legambiente Lombardia | PLIS Valle del Lanza |Parco Locale di Interesse Sovracomunale Rile-Tenore-Olona | Parco del Medio Olona | Parco Bosco del Rugareto | Municipality of Vedano Olona | Municipality of Locate Varesino | Municipality of Gerenzano
Funding body Fondazione Cariplo | Ferrovienord S.p.a | University of Insubria | PLIS Parco dei Mughetti

The basin of the Olona river, in the Province of Varese, is one of the most heavily urbanized areas in Lombardy. Over time, it has played a considerable strategic role for men, due to its linking function between Milan and Switzerland and to the presence of water, essential for industrial development. For this specific reason, Olona has also become a sort of green and blue “corridor” between the Po Valley and Switzerland, not only for the local population, but also for many animal species. After the de-industrialization process which started in the past few decades, the river seems to have regained some of its space, showing the potential function of ecological corridor, in spite of the fragmentation of the area.

The river requalification and the restoration of connectivity

Water is the real common thread of the project, which aims to enhance this key resource to connect the river, wetlands and riparian areas (important corridors for the relocation of organisms) to safeguard aquatic environments and many species that inhabit them.

We will implement 19 interventions throughout the whole province of Varese, from North to South. Among the main actions to be taken are river banks settlement and the requalification of vegetation, the improvement of underpasses for wildlife and the restoration of wetlands in the Olona basin. Other interventions designed for a naturalistic and educational use have also been planned, in particular on the Sorgenti del Tenore (Municipality of Morazzone) and on the wetland of Fagnano Olona, recognized as an Area of Regional Herpetological Relevance (ARER). Some innovative techniques will also be deployed: rail line bypass systems and anti-collision systems installed on the passage of the stream Quadronna, instruments with which we will carry out the activities of project "Roadkill".

The redevelopment of the ecological network meets an environmental as well as a social need: re-establishing harmony between human needs and the natural environment. That’s why we will invest in outreach activities to make up for the loss of the shared sense of landscape by local communities. How? By arranging training courses for local authorities technicians and a university training for voluntary ecological guards, students of the University of Insubria and anyone interested in the topics. In addition to all this, groups of project ambassadors, digital tools to train ecological network activists, events and other initiatives will be carried out to enable citizens to discover the area and enjoy the biodiversity flowing around us.

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BONIFICO BANCARIO:
intestato a Istituto Oikos Onlus
Banca Popolare di Sondrio, ag. 1 - via Porpora 104, Milano 20131
IBAN IT80R0569601602000006906X78

CONTO CORRENTE POSTALE:
c/c 61923629
intestato a Istituto Oikos

Sostieni Oikos

Oppure usa le nostre coordinate
inserendo nella causale il nome del progetto che desideri sostenere

BONIFICO BANCARIO:
intestato a Istituto Oikos Onlus
Banca Popolare di Sondrio, ag. 1 - via Porpora 104, Milano 20131
IBAN IT80R0569601602000006906X78

CONTO CORRENTE POSTALE:
c/c 61923629
intestato a Istituto Oikos