Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (48 hours)

There are no prerequisites required, however students should be familiar with basic concepts of Systematic Botany, Environmental Botany, Zoology, Ecology, Geographical Information Systems. Knowledge of English language is recommended, since part of the technical documentation is in English.

Final Examination: 

Knowledge and skills acquired by students will be verified at the end of the course by means of an oral test consisting in the discussion of a series of topics included (but not exclusively) on a topic arranged with the teachers, and based on practical cases.
The evaluation will be expressed in thirtyths and will take into account the scientific mastering and the critical ability about the topic discussed (30%), the organization and the skills in presenting the topic (10%), the ability to apply the concepts learned during the course to the specific topic (60%).

Voto Finale

The Course aims to provide theoretical and practical knowledge on protected areas, especially those falling within the Natura 2000 Network. In particular, the course aims to provide specific knowledge of the 92/43/EEC Directive (Habitats Directive) and current Community legislation regarding Natura 2000 Network by analyzing the theoretical, technical and legal elements on which Natura 2000 Network is based.
The course aims to provide the indispensable tools for carrying out the actions envisaged in the context of environmental and territorial planning, the design and implementation of actions for the management of the environmental heritage, the technical fulfilment of the obligations and procedures prescribed by current legislation.
Module 1 will specifically address the Habitats and plant species identified by the Habitats Directive and the sites provided for by the Habitats Directive (Sites of Community Importance or SCIs and Special Area of Conservation or SACs) and Directive 2009/147/EEC or Birds Directive (Special Protection Areas or SPAs) that contribute to the formation of Natura 2000 Network.
Module 2 will deal specifically with the animal species identified by both the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive, as well as the technical fulfilment of the obligations and procedures prescribed by current legislation. Particular emphasis will be given to the practical and applicative aspects, through the presentation and discussion of exemplary case studies.

At the end of the course the student is expected to have acquired the following skills:

  • knowledge of the technical-scientific and legal framework relating to Natura 2000 Network;
  • ability to implement the technical procedures for the management and monitoring of the Natura 2000 Network, as well as the ability to implement the periodic assessment of the conservation status of habitats and species and of the reporting required by the Habitats Directive.

The legal framework
Nature protection and International Biodiversity Conventions prior to the Habitats Directive (92/43/EC)
National and regional law on nature protection, types of protected areas
Habitats Directive: articulation of the texts, main articles, annexes and definitions
Relations between the Habitats Directive and Regulations or other Community Directives, with special regard to the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC), the Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive Aline Species and the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)
The Natural Habitats of Annex I
Biogeographic Regions
Habitat of the Alpine and Continental Region
Types of Natura 2000 Sites: Sites of Community Importance (SCIs), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
Consistency of the Natura 2000 Network in Europe, Italy and Lombardy
Procedures and methodologies for the definition and the establishment of a Natura 2000 site
Official documentation of the N2000 Sites: the Standard Form
Criteria and tools for the ordinary management of a N2000 Site
Management and monitoring of Habitats
Mapping of Habitats: principles.
Management measures, pressures and threats
Analysis of the State of Conservation of a Natura 2000 Site
Animal species of Annexes II and IV and animal lists of the Birds Directive
Monitoring of populations of animal species: objectives, methodologies and techniques
Analysis of the Conservation Status of populations of animal species
Actions and procedures provided for by the Habitats Directive
Official documentation of the Natura 2000 Sites: the Management Plan and its drafting
Official documentation of the Natura 2000 Sites: revision of the Standard Form
Incidence assessment, mitigation and compensation concepts
Obligations arising from Article 17 of the Habitats Directive for Member States
Periodic monitoring and reporting activities
Reporting procedures at regional, national and Community level
Tools for documentation and data interchange: coding systems for species and habitats, cartographic conventions, methods for assessing data quality, methods for assessing the conservation status of species and habitats at national and Community level
Case Studies
Analysis of cases concerning Natura 2000 Sites of the Alpine and Continental Biogeographical Region

Presentations of the lessons are available to students in pdf format on the e-learning platform of the course. On the e-learning platform will also be made available manuals, reports and scientific articles of interest and lists of useful sites.
Angelini P., Casella L., Grignetti A., Genovesi P. (eds) 2016 Manuali per il monitoraggio di specie e habitat di interesse comunitario (Direttiva 92/43/CEE) in Italia: habitat. ISPRA, Serie Manuali e linee guida, 142/2016
DG Environment 2017 Reporting under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive: Explanatory notes and guidelines for the period 2013-2018. Brussels. Pp 188
EC 2013 Interpretation Manual of European Union Habitats - EUR28
Ercole S., Giacanelli V., Bacchetta G., Fenu G., Genovesi P. (eds) 2016 Manuali per il monitoraggio di specie e habitat di interesse comunitario (Direttiva 92/43/CEE) in Italia: specie vegetali. ISPRA, Serie Manuali e linee guida, 140/2016
Genovesi P., Angelini P., Bianchi E., Dupré E., Ercole S., Giacanelli V., Ronchi F., Stoch F. 2014 Specie e habitat di interesse comunitario in Italia: distribuzione, stato di conservazione e trend. ISPRA, Serie Rapporti, 194/2014
Stoch F., Genovesi P. (eds) 2016 Manuali per il monitoraggio di specie e habitat di interesse comunitario (Direttiva 92/43/CEE) in Italia: specie animali. ISPRA, Serie Manuali e linee guida, 141/2016
van der Sluis T., Foppen R., Gillings S., Groen T.A., Henkens R.J.H.G., Hennekens S.M., Huskens K., Noble D., Ottburg F.G.W.A., Santini L., Sierdsema H., van Kleunen A., Schaminee J.H.J., van Swaay C., Toxopeus B., Wallis de Vries M.F., Jones-Walters L.M. 2016 How much Biodiversity is in Natura 2000?: the “Umbrella Effect” of the European Natura 2000 protected area network: technical report. Alterra, Wageningen-UR, (Alterra-rapport 2738). Pp. 147

The course objectives will be achieved through classroom lessons for 48 hours in total held by the teachers who will also invite in the classroom experts of various aspects covered by the course. In order to promote training in the use of the skills learned during classroom lessons, the course also includes exercises for no more than 20 hours in total, whose attendance is highly recommended (but not mandatory).
At students request, at the beginning of each lesson teachers will provide clarifications and insights concerning topics discussed in previous lessons. It will be also possible to ask for clarification at any time during lessons. Anyway, the use of e-learning platform (forum, glossaries) is highly recommended for the sharing of any requested issue among students.

Teachers are always available for urgent matters at their e-mail addresses (; Using the same e-mail addresses is also possible to arrange meetings in the teachers' offices at DiSTA, via J.H. Dunant, 3 in Varese.