Sunday, 14 June 2009

Important step for the protection of Calendula maritima

Calendula maritima. Picture extracted from the IUCN website ( © Anna Giordano for the IUCN's MIPSG-SSC Top 50 of Mediterranean Island Plants. This image is a link to the IUCN booklet. Please consult there the page 92-93.

The Sicilian endemic plant Calendula maritima Guss. is one of the most relevant endangered species of the Mediterranean basin (see information in the Top50 list of Mediterranean Island Plants ( Its conservation, including the proposal to give protection to the small sites where the species lives, has been largely defended by the Sicilian botanists, and particularly by Dr. Angelo Troià, former director of the Nature Reserve Saline di Trapani e Paceco, and one of the most enthusiastic defenders of the PMR philosophy. Most populations of C. maritima remain unprotected and even the classical one, found into the nature reserve boundaries, was threatened by the projected enlargement of a close harbour in Marsala.

The Regional Province of Trapani, following the proposal of his councilior Mr. Salvatore Daidone, has recently passed an amendment to the regional provisions, in order to improve the long-term protection of the species, and to convert it into a province symbol for nature conservation. A recent letter received from Mr. Girolamo Turamo, president of the Province of Trapani, confirm us the approval of this proposal. Please receive our congratulations from this blog, and our desire to go on with the conservation of this endangered species.

Wikipedia link: IUCN redlist fact sheet:

Dr. Angelo Troìa presenting the results of the project EOLIFE for the conservation of endangered plants of the Eolian Islands (Sicily, Italy), during the international workshop on PMRs organized by Dr. Costas Thanos in The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (Crete, Greece), 24.11.2005, © Emilio Laguna

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

New issue on the Valencian PMRs

A few days ago the Valencian Government (Valencian Community, Spain) passed the new decret on plant conservation (Decree 70/2009, May 22, which creates and regulates the Valencian Catalogue of Threatened Flora, DOCV nr. 6021, 25.05.2009) which includes some improvements for te Valencian Plant Microreserves Network. The most important issue is the enlargement of the territory able to set up new PMRs, due that since 1994, these reserves only could be made on the emerged (oversea) regional territory -the sum of the three Valencian provinces: Castellon, Valencia and Alicante-; after lots of legal conflicts between the Spanish administration and the regional ones (as those of the Valencian Community), the Spanish Law 42/2007 (november 2007) on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, redistributed the responsability on the coastal conservation, empowering the Authonomous Communities (=regions) to create protected sites and manage the biological resources of marine areas near their respective coasts. So, in a close future, the Valencian PMR network also could include marine microreserves, mainly thinking of the fine protection of plant communities hosting marine phanerogams (Posidonia oceanica, Zostera spp. etc.) and bentic algae. The Valencian Decree is only available in Spanish and Valencian/Catalonian languages:

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Cyprus' LIFE proposal to made a PMR network is ongoing

A LIFE-funds application presented months ago by several institutions from Cyprus and the UNKA (Athens, Greece) under the coordination of Dr. Costas Kadis (Frederick Intitute of Technology) has been initially accepted by the EC's LIFE Unit to be co-financed during the next years, in order to create a Plant Microreserves Network, adapting the model of the successful LIFE project CRETAPLANT -so paying special attention to the species listed at the Habitats Directive-. In a few months, all kind of bureaucratic procedures and engagements will be signed in order to start the works as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Planta Europa launches the EIP initiative

Planta Europa has launched the 'European Information Platform for Plants' (EIP), where the plant microreserves have a specific information sheet as relevant case study for plant conservation. The EIP initiative is maintained from Plantlife International, and you can access the information through the Planta Europa website or directly clicking on the banner above, on this message
Please, find below the letter spreaded from the Planta Europa secretariat, sent by Beth Newman to the Planta Europa members. The readers belonging to no-member institutions are invited, in any case, to joint the initiative (and of course to join Planta Europa!):

The European Information Platform for Plants (EIP) is part of the Planta Europa Network website dedicated to providing information that will help everyone engaged in plant conservation activities, and will track the implementation of the European Strategy for Plant Conservation.
At the Plant Europa conference in Cluj Napoca, participants led the development of the second edition of the European Strategy for Plant Conservation (2008 -2014). During discussions, it was clear that sharing information and expertise on plant conservation was, and would continue to be, a very important part of helping stakeholders to implement this Strategy. The conference proposed that an information service should be provided for many of the new targets on the Planta Europa website, and the outgoing Planta Europa secretariat ( in particular the Planta Europa Assistant Ainhoa Mendizabal) has been working hard to develop such an information service on the web.

So here it is: The EIP can also be reached from the home page of the Planta Europa website, (from the bottom of the left hand navigation panel).

The site has three main elements
1. Details of the progress towards the targets of the European Strategy for Plant Conservation
2. Country profiles - information on plants, fungi and conservation in each European country ( from information that used to be on Plant Talk website, collated by Hugh Synge and Melanie Bilz)
3. Case studies, tools and contact information on specific plant conservation projects that contribute to the implementation of the ESPC.
Use the left hand navigation panel to reach these three areas.
- Use the EIP
- Promote the EIP to your colleagues and other conservation organisations in Europe
- Contribute information on your projects by filling in the templates and sending them to Plantlife International who are managing this site (send to
- Simply to tell us what you think!
The EIP has been produced through the efforts of the Planta Europa Network members, the Secretariat and with some information from the former website of Plant Talk. We hope that it will allow more fluent communication among users, where emerging issues, suggestions, successful projects and new ideas will be collected.

Welcome to your project. Welcome to the EIP Planta Europa

Beth Newman
European Biological Information Management Officer Plantlife International - The Wild Plant Conservation Charity

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Cretan PMR project in a new LIFE-Focus publication

The LIFE project CRETAPLANT has been choosed by the EC's LIFE-Unit as representative of good practices for nature conservation, worthing a specific chapter in the recently published booklet 'Learning for LIFE'. You can download this book from the folloqing website:

Sunday, 1 March 2009

10th River Restoration Conference

Rivers and wetlands are one of the richest ecosystems often selected to made new small nature reserves; additionally, restoration and best prectices for their conservation are common issue, interesting to the 'microreservists'. The events webpage of the EU's LIFE programme announces the forthcoming 10th Conference on River Restoration, to be held in Nottingham (UH), next 1st-2nd April. Please find below the notice, also available at

The aspiration of this conference is to provide a forum where ideas can be discussed across disciplines. Topics might include the following where river restoration or habitat enhancement is an integral part of the project: Flood risk management working with natural processes; climate change proofing; river basin projects ; benefits and effectiveness of schemes for habitat enhancement ; indicators for appraisal and evaluation; urban regeneration; planners and urban design.
A programme will be prepared and circulated in the New Year along with details of the conference costs. It is aimed to keep costs as close to those in 2008 as possible (i.e. circa £275 for an RRC member as a residential participant).
This is a possibility for LIFE projects to contribute. If you are interested in presenting a paper or poster please send your abstract to the
river restoration centre by 7 November 2008.
For more information about this conference refer to the

Monday, 16 February 2009

The Slovenian PMR in a new LIFE-Focus publication

The series LIFE-Focus edited by the European Commission's LIFE Unit, has recently published the book "LIFE and Europe's grasslands - Restoring a forgotten habitat", donwnloadable from the webpage below indicated. Therein you will find lots of examples of grasslands protection and conservation practices, including the LIFE project on the conservation of the Karst Edge (Kraski Rob) species and habitats, one of their actiities was the selection of 30 future microreserves -citated as 'micro-areas' in the LIFE's book-. Of course, you will laso find lots of interesting and successful results of grasslands management, species conservation, etc. Please click on the following link: