22 April 2024

Community of Practice in Italy: Fostering collaboration for sustainable solutions

On 8 April 2024, the Italian Community of Practice launched with 42 participants representing diverse sectors, including associations and non-profits, research institutions, and public and private sector representatives. This first CoP meeting aimed to build connections, identify common objectives, and establish operational procedures to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing within the community.

Following an introduction to the SELINA project and an overview of the CoPs' general role, the concept of "seeds of change" was introduced. Participants were then briefed on the institutions involved and the preliminary objectives of the Italian CoP, which will focus on planning processes across various scales. An open discussion followed, facilitated by a Miro board, to gather input on activities, themes, and expectations aligned with these objectives.

The discussion resulted in valuable insights, with Italian CoP participants expressing a desire to establish a network for interdisciplinary dialogue to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services management. They emphasised the importance of analysing decision-making processes and integrating practical knowledge to improve territorial planning and support policymakers. Collaboration within the CoP for project cooperation and methodological innovation was also highlighted.

Key topics of interest included the impacts of climate change, urban biodiversity, decision support tools, Nature-Based Solutions, economic valuation methods, and agro-biodiversity recognition. Desired activities encompassed developing assessment methodologies, organising seminars, forming working groups, compiling best practice cases, and facilitating peer learning.

At the end of the meeting, participants were introduced to the SELINA questionnaire for collecting "seeds of change," a vital activity for all CoPs. Italian CoP members will complete the survey in the coming weeks, enabling the identification of best practices and transformative change case studies.