21 Ottobre 2016
Così, con queste parole, il presidente di Federparchi Giampiero Sammuri - venerdì 21 ottobre - nel corso della Conferenza 2016 di Europarc, ha presentato e proposto la candidatura di Giuseppe Antoci per la medaglia Alfred Toepfer.
“Do you know Nebrodi regional park? The park with its 86.000 hectares is the largest Regional Park in Italy, only 5 National Parks are larger than it. The Park is in Sicily.
I am from Tuscany. Many foreigners maybe think that my region is the most beautiful in Italy, in fact it is wonderful but my Italian colleagues have often heard me saying that for me Sicily is the most beautiful Italian Region. I think, in fact, that no other Italian Region has the historical evidences that the Sicily has. In the middle of the Mediterranean sea, Sicily was inhabited by people and civilizations: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, French, Spanish, Normans and each of them left a mark of their presence: temples, churches, castles, gardens.
Along with the historical evidences, in Sicily there is also an extraordinary natural heritage. Everyone knows its marvelous sea as well as the Mount Etna, the highest volcano in Europe. But in Sicily there are also stunning mountains peaks higher than 2.000 meters, endemic plants and animals.
All this Sicilian heritage is protected by the newborn Pantelleria National Park, 5 Regional Parks (among them Nebrodi), 5 Marine Protected Areas and 70 Nature Reserves.
We don’t have to forget the gastronomy of this region. You all know how much Italy is famous in the world for the richness and the quality of its food and wine. Sicily, with its variety of wines, fish, fruits, vegetables and special desserts, gives a high contribution to this richness. Well, Giuseppe Antoci is son of this earth! Mr Giuseppe Antoci leads the Nebrodi Regional Park since October 2013.
He is graduated in Economics. Since he was appointed as President of the Nebrodi Regional Park its commitment has been addressed to guarantee the utmost administrative regularity of the Park Authority fighting the local mafia system that has spread in recent years and that allowed to receive European funds for the support of fake farmers and shepherds pretending to manage large areas of agricultural land.
The March 18th 2015 he has adopted a specific legality protocol with the Messina Prefecture which includes the anti-mafia certification (i.e. a check that there are no mafia infiltration in the farms management) for all the pastures in the park territory.
The “Antoci’s protocol”, recognized as a successful model, has been then signed by all Prefects and the President of the Region and extended to all the island.
Because of his daily commitment against the mafia, he received many threats and for this reason he is under protection since December 2014. The May 18th 2016 he was victim of an attack by the local mafia but thanks to the State Police he miraculously survived.
The results he is achieving demonstrate how protected areas can play a crucial role not only for the conservation of biodiversity but also for ensuring a legal defence especially in those territories in which the local communities are victims along with the environment and landscape values.
That’s why we have proposed Giuseppe Antoci for the Alfred Toepfer medal”.