at University of Salento via prov. Lecce Monteroni sn, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Italy is one of the founders of LifeWatch-ERIC and hosts its Service Centre. LifeWatch-ERIC has always been strongly supported by the national scientific community, as well as regional and national institutions, since Italy is a biodiversity hotspot in Europe, with more than 57,400 animal and 6,500 plant species. Italian landscapes and protected areas are natural laboratories for biodiversity and ecosystem research.
The LifeWatch Italy webportal provides a networking interface for the biodiversity and ecosystem community, offering learning and training opportunities, semantic resources and data, ICT services & VREs, supporting research activities and science-based policy-making.
The Ministry for Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) and the National Research Council (CNR) lead the Italian contribution to LifeWatch-ERIC and the activities of its national node, in close cooperation with the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection.
Organised as a Joint Research Unit (JRU), LifeWatch Italy is coordinated by the department of Earth system science and environmental technologies of the CNR. The General Assembly and the Coordination and Management committees oversee its governance.
The JRU counts among its many members the most important institutions active in the domain, including the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic (Castelporziano Presidential Estate), the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute for Nuclear Physics, the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, as well as many universities, regional agencies and private bodies (please see here for the full list of members).
LifeWatch-ITA, as a National Support Committee, contributes to the construction and operation of the infrastructure via its e-Biodiversity Research Institute and ICT Working Group, seeking to reinforce integrated scientific research into biodiversity and ecosystems by:
Implementing semantic resources, such as controlled vocabularies and ontologies, to support interoperability among different data infrastructures (Thesauri, gazetteer);
Making data & metadata accessible, interpretable and reusable over time ensuring the transparency, reproducibility and sustainability of scientific research results (Data Portal);
Providing ICT Services for the study of biodiversity and ecosystems and cooperation in VREs dedicated to major scientific issues (e.g. Alien Species, Phytoplankton)
Supporting Citizen Science & Education with ICT services, applications, platforms, and learning environments, combined with gaming resources specifically designed for students (LW for Schools).
The mission of the GLOBIS-B project is to foster the global cooperation of biodiversity research infrastructures and biodiversity scientists to advance the implementation and calculation of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs). The project aims to identify the required primary data, analysis tools, methodologies, and legal and technical bottlenecks to develop an agenda for research and infrastructure development to compute EBVs.
The ECOPOTENTIAL project focuses its activities and pilot actions on a targeted set of internationally recognised protected areas (PA) in Europe, European Territories and beyond, including mountain, arid and semi-arid, and coastal and marine ecosystems. Building on the knowledge gained in individual PAs, ECOPOTENTIAL addresses cross-scale ecological interactions and landscape-ecosystem dynamics at regional to continental scales, using geostatistical methods and the emerging novel approaches in Macrosystems Ecology.
BIOforIU is an Italian PON project dedicated to the construction of the related infrastructure BIOforIU, an infrastructure designed to study living organisms and the mechanisms that underlie the functioning of biodiversity.
The project "Improving governance, management and sustainability of rural and coastal protected areas and contributing to the implementation of the Natura 2000 provisions in IT and GR" with the acronym "BIG" is implemented in the framework of the cross-border European Territorial Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV "Greece-Italy 2007-2013".
The main objective of this project is to support the development of regional action plans and best practices for integrated monitoring programmes, coordinated programmes of measures and the filing of data gaps for Mediterranean marine waters and thereby improve implementation in the next steps of the MSFD, in particular in relation to the review of the initial assessment, the GES definition and the environmental target setting in 2018, including (financial) planning as well as the related integration of data management.