Astrid Nolte
Phone: + 43 - 1 - 811 40 - 319
Wed, 12.02.2003
pte20030212032 Science/Technology
Pressbox Pressbox
Climate change may affect poor regions of Italy
Severe loss of biodiversity expected in next decades

Rome (pte032/12.02.2003/13:50) - Changes in climate could have a devastating effect on several impoverished regions of Italy, according to a new study by the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment (Enea)

As new research by Enea shows, much of Italy will experience desertification, loss of biodiversity, and less rainfall yet more flooding within the next few decades. Experts expect these effects of climate change to hit the poorest areas of the country particularly hard.

Among the regions most affected will be mountains, coastlines, the south and the two major islands of Sardinia and Sicily, the report states. Because of their heavy dependence on agriculture and tourism, Italy's southern regions are likely to experience the most severe economic setbacks.

The Venice area in the northeast of the country and several river estuaries will have a higher risk of flooding. Researchers say a total of 4,500 square km of land could be at risk, 62.6% of which is located in the south.

Reduced rainfall and higher temperatures, especially in the summer, could also put considerable strain on the south and the islands, where many areas are already undergoing a process of desertification.

The experts involved in the study have urged the government and local authorities to be quick in focusing on preventative measures. They caution that better coastal protection is needed to prevent the erosion of the coastline, and that farmers should prepare to adapt to more efficient methods of irrigation.

Enea's declared mission is to provide research and innovation for the sustainable development of the nation.

Submitter: pressetext.europe
Contact: Astrid Nolte
Phone: + 43 - 1 - 811 40 - 319