PHUSICOS, meaning ‘According to nature’, is a project funded by Horizon 2020.

The project aims at demonstrating the effectiveness of nature-inspired solutions (NBS) and their ability to reduce the impacts of extreme weather events in rural and mountain areas. Nature-based solutions are cost-effective and sustainable measures inspired by nature that mitigate, and in some cases prevent, the impacts of extreme weather events.

The Northern Apennines District Basin Authority and its European partners have been awarded this important project that will allow the selection and implementation of measures in the Lake Massaciuccoli area.

What do we do?  Nature Based Solution (NBS) are identified through a participatory process within the Project “Phusicos – According to nature” with the aim of mitigating hydrogeological risk and improving the quality of water resources in the area of Lake Massaciuccoli.

What do we do? NBSs are selected through a participatory process to mitigate flood risk, improve water resources’ quality and  support the fragile ecosystems in the area of Lake Massaciuccoli.

How do we do it? The project experiments the effectiveness of buffer strips, a natural approach with low environmental and landscape impact, to achieve environmental objectives by increasing the resilience of the territory, promoting biodiversity and the natural areas. Buffer strips are part of a broader general programme of measures for the area and have the advantage of being sustainable in time and synergic with other measures.

Who is involved? Farmers are the main actors, responsible for the implementation of measures; they supported the kick-off and implementation of the project by providing their cropland, their specific knowledge and by actively participating in the implementation of  nature-based solutions. Moreover, the participatory process “Living Labs” involved all stakeholders and was aimed at selecting and planning the measures to be carried out.

Buffer strips testing: a Buffer strip is an area of land maintained in permanent vegetation (trees, perennial grasses, shrubs) located at the margins of croplands. Buffer strips limit soil erosion, trap sediments, and enhance the filtration of potential nutrients or pollutants flowing into water bodies and contribute to improve water quality and the ecological status of lakes and surrounding areas and the resilience of the territory. Thus, they contribute to the implementation of both the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive.

Total amount financed by the EU to the PHUSICOS project: 9.633.000,00

Amount to be used in the Massaciuccoli area: 1.425.000,00

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