Press release October 10, 2012
The EU investigation to verify the conditions of the Marsican bear in Abruzzo is going on. Since 2007, more than 5 million came from the European fund LIFE+. Andrea Zanoni: “The European taxpayers have the right to know how their money is spent”.
“The Commission has already set up an investigation (EU Pilot 3202/12/ENVI) to ensure that in all areas of Abruzzo where there is the Marsican bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) certain hunting practices that could threaten this endangered species are actually prohibited”. It is the response of the EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik to Andrea Zanoni’s question, MEP IDV, on the serious decline, also culpable, of the Marsican brown bear in the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. “The real concern of the EU is good news. Now let’s shed light on how Italy has used the funds of the European LIFE +”.
In his response, the EU Commissioner stated that “it is up to Italy to take the necessary measures to achieve a strict protection of the bear under Directive 92/43/EEC (the Habitats Directive).” In this regard, Potočnik noted that, since 2007, three projects involving Marsican brown bear (and other carnivores) have received a funding under the LIFE + programme for a total cost estimated at € 10,224,707, of which 5,168,356 euro by LIFE + contribution.
“The Italian and European citizens have the right to know how this money was spent,” urges Zanoni, calling on the authorities to do everything possible to “fight against the poaching of bears and ban all those practices that are harmful to its survival far too often tolerated by the authorities locally involved.”
According to the MEP, “many of the causes of death and disturbance may be removed with a greater commitment and defense of the Park territory and with hunting calendars more respectful of the needs of wildlife.” Much of the responsibility for this serious situation is certainly attributed to a Park Authority, the Abruzzo National Park authority, which it is doing little to protect bears and their valuable habitat.
“Now we are waiting for the outcome of the European survey – says the MEP – we hope not to have to face the umpteenth Italian shame”.