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Pino Secco Licenziata
Frontespizio Progetto Po001

Paper park, park-academy, ghost park, park-soap opera, Penelope park, philosophy park: these are some of the many names that have been attributed to Pollino National Park.

This variety of names derives from the fact that no other protected area in Italy has managed to master debates, studies, projects, plans in the same way as Pollino. It’s interesting to think that the Park was already well known in 1958, as the book “Precedenti storici per la valorizzazione scientifica e turistica del Pollino” by A. Miglio from Castrovillari testifies.

It’s actually in this exact year that the Park’s values emerge for the first time on a national scale. Not long ago the Italian government issued a bill aimed to endorse Pollino National Park, in fact. In August was celebrated the 7th edition of the National Mountain Festival of Piano Ruggio. Ever since A. M. Simonetta appeared on "Casabella" in April 1964, Pollino National Park has been listed as Italian natural environment to protect.

Fighting for the Environment

Pollino National Park has been battlefield for many environmental skirmishes, in particular for WWF. In February 1968 the newly founded association suggested the institution of a national park. At the same time, the Consortium for the Industrialization Core of the Gulf of Policastro presented Project "Pollinea", which included, in addition to improbable ski resorts, the construction of high-altitude roads that, if implemented, would dismember the "heart " of the Park. This first attempt at speculation was followed by another one in 1970, with a project that was presented by the company OTE of the EFIM-INSUD group. This project basically aimed to subsume the entire area of the Park in a large snow city. In the same year the CNR asked a team of respectable naturalists of the WWF, including Valerio Giacomini, Franco Tassi and Fulco Pratesi, great ambassadors of Italian environmentalism, to come up with a plan to reorganize the Park. The project, in addition to dividing the territory based on different levels of protection, showed, for the first time thanks to a fully pragmatic analysis of costs, that preserving nature was more profitable than the speculative projects mentioned above.

This unprejudiced study represents the first scientific investigation aimed to show how the establishment of a protected area, in addition to protecting the environment, was a chance for development, not a cause for disruption for the locals. In 1990 WWF commissioned a similar survey to NOMISMA for Abruzzo National Park.

The white book and the ideas that brought to the creation of the Park

In March 1973 Basilicata published a book in order to attempt a compromise between the two conflicting theories presented by WWF and EFIM. This document, however, succeeded in another way, namely by convincing Calabria to collaborate with Basilicata in order to create a special project aimed to endorse the Pollino area.

However the initiative was not carried out in the end, therefore Basilicata decided to act on its own, and instead found a regional park. On August 29th 1977 Basilicata held a competition, seeking interesting projects to create a natural park on its side of Pollino.

The competition was won by an Interdisciplinary Study Group coordinated by the architect Ferrara, who worked with numerous scholars, including Prof. Valerio Giacomini, Prof. Alberto Simonetta, Prof. Umberto Bagnaresi, the architect Augusto Cagnardi, Dr. Giampietro Rota, the engineer Annibale Formica. Four years later, in July 1981, they delivered the POLLINO PROJECT: six volumes summarizing the results of their analyses and their suggestions. In December 1985 the Territorial Coordination Plan was approved.

1986: the Park is officially founded

Even though, according to the regional law n. 3/1986, Pollino Regional Park was in fact founded in 1986, it actually never came to life. Neither did the Italian Government really take an interest in the Park; in fact, only in 1988 was it actually founded as national park, and only thanks to the art. 18 of the financial law n. 67. Two years later an administrative decree established a temporary perimeter and protection measures the Park would adopt.

Pollino National Park became reality only in 1993, when a local authority was instituted, followed by the rest of the administrative departments a year later.

Text: Annibale Formica and Bruno Niola, From "Uomo & Natura", Trimestrale delle aree protette Mediterranee, ed.Electa, Anno I, n.1, pp. 8-12.



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