Chiara Rognoni

CEETO Referent at Ente di gestione per i Parchi e la Biodiversità Emilia Centrale

CEETO pilot actions in Emilia Centrale Parks

Lago Santo Modenese area, within the High Modenese Apennines Regional Park, and Salse di Nirano Nature Reserve are two pilot areas managed by the Emilia Centrale Parks Management Authority. Both areas are affected by a high tourist presence which, along with inadequate visitors´ behaviour, cause damage to natural values and overall experience of the protected area. Therefore, in Lago Santo Modenese area tourist flows were monitored via the number of sold parking tickets and questionnaires to define measures for better spatial and time distribution of tourists’ visits in the area. Also, sustainable traffic measures and raising knowledge and awareness about the value of the area were implemented. In Salse di Nirano area, to protect the Zone A (integral protection zone) of the Reserve, a Video Content Analysis (VCA) system was installed to detect the type of the use and threats the Reserve must face from the point of view of sustainable tourism planning. The video of the system can be seen here: https://youtu.be/6mbOOV_c0FI

#  CEETOPilotAction #  High Modenese Apennines #  RegioneEmiliaRomagna #  SustainableTourism #CEETO #EnteParchiEmiliaCentrale #Italy #Lago Santo Modenese #monitoring #ParchiEmiliaCentrale #ProtectedArea #RiservaNaturale #SalseDiNirano #VCA #VideoContentAnalysis

Chiara Viappiani

Employee at Appennino Tosco Emiliano National Park

Facilitating sustainable alternatives in Appennino Tosco Emiliano National Park

The Appennino Tosco Emiliano National Park, UNESCO Man&Biosphere Reserve, represents the high mountain environment in the Emilia-Romagna Region with amazingly rich flora and fauna. The 2 pilot areas in the Park, the Pietra di Bismantova and the Lagdei plain, suffer overflow of tourists in spring and summer. The objective of the pilot action was to modify the tourists’ behaviours, extend the touristic season and offer sustainable tourism alternatives. The Park management monitored touristic flows using specific questionnaires, counting of visitors and a statistical survey on tourist visits. Public shuttle buses and payment schemes for parking areas were introduced to lower the pressure of visits. All of the data collected is used in the ECST process and in facilitating collaboration between stakeholders, as well as in creating a complete and multi-seasonal offer for new kinds of tourism in the area. Learn more from the attached summary of the CEETO pilot action in Appennino Tosco Emiliano National Park. 

A short movie about the Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6TGVAR2AHw&feature=youtu.be

 

#AppenninoToscoEmiliano #CEETOPilotAction #Italia #Italy #monitoring #ProtectedArea #RegioneEmiliaRomagna #SustainableTourism #UNESCO
1 comment

Andrea Solić

Programme Manager at WWF Adria

hi Chiara, it sounds intersting. could you please tell more about the multi-seasonal offer for new kinds of tourism in the area? I did not get it from the PDF doc.

2 replies

Chiara Viappiani

Employee at Appennino Tosco Emiliano National Park

Hi Andrea, for example at the moment we are trying to spread new approaches for visiting the site of Pietra di Bismantova. We are working on propose and promote combined visits to the Pietra and to the triassic gypsum with lunch in one of the local restaurants: this is a geological approach to the site. Another one is more cultural, promoting cultural events mainly related to land art like this one https://www.redacon.it/2019/10/31/legarsi-alla-pietra-una-originale-performance-artistica-collettiva/ https://www.facebook.com/castelnovo.monti/videos/269787303969255/?q=ermanio%20beretti&epa=SEARCH_BOX

Chiara Viappiani

Employee at Appennino Tosco Emiliano National Park

Furhtermore, there is a sanctuary where in the past women came to ask for pregnacy because of inside it there is an interesting painting of the Holy Mother feeding Jesus. So the idea is to rediscover also this religious reason to visit the Pietra, updated with the restoration of the hermitage at the bottom of the sanctuary following also the message of the Laudato si' by the Pope Francis. The big goal is to create a centre for "men and nature" in the hermitage.

Mauro Generali

CEETO Project PP01 Communication Manager at Regione Emilia Romagna - Servizio Aree Protette, Foreste e Sviluppo della Montagna

CEETO Project - Video-Monitoring of the Salse di Nirano Nature Reserve to monitor and prevent Zone A intrusions.

NEMOS (Nature rEserve MOnitoring System) VCA Experimental System

The Video Content Analysis (VCA) system, financed and tested through the Interreg CEETO Project, is composed of 3 cameras connected to an automatic data processing and extraction unit, using Artificial Intelligence algorithms. The system, in addition to monitoring (quantifying and qualifying) the real use of the area, also documents the main factors of threat for the Natural Reserve of Salse di Nirano, to support the design of possible protection measures.

As can be seen from the explanatory video (see link below), the system detects the transits of vehicles and people along the access road to Zone A of integral protection (zone particularly fragile by the geomorphological and phytological point of view) and acquires the largest number of data on episodes of physical barriers overcoming (by both people and animals), and consequent incorrect use and invasion of Zone A. The data, processed on site and sent remotely to the Park Authority and to the Municipality, will be used both to quantify the extent of the problem and to plan appropriate defence actions, both active (strengthening of physical barriers) and passive (through posters and environmental education).

The recorded images will also be useful for the study of the mud-volcanoes morphological evolution and will be integrated with the other ongoing monitoring by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

The innovative VCA system was installed in the Cà Rossa Visitor Centre area at the beginning of July 2019 and it’s acquiring data continuously from 5.30 AM to 9.30 PM. It will continue to work for at least one year after the end of CEETO Pilot Action (which ended at the end of September 2019).

 YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/6mbOOV_c0FI 

#CrossFences #EnteParchiEmiliaCentrale #FioranoModenese #Italia #Italy #monitoring #ParchiEmiliaCentrale #PilotAction  #ProtectedArea #Protection #RegioneEmiliaRomagna #RER #RiservaNaturale #SalseDiNirano #TouristMonitoring #VCA #VideoContentAnalysis #VulcaniDiFango
2 comments

Ana Krvarić

Project Officer at WWF Adria

Interesting action!

I have a few questions:

  • 1) How one can distinguish from people/animals walking on the right area (like the street) and those who are crossing the fences and walking in the Zone A of the Protected Area?
  • 2) What are power sources for the cameras?
  • 3) Is this method accompanied with some other method, for example with interviews in order to know what visitor’s expectations in the area are?
2 replies

Rudy Melli

CEO at Vision-e Srl

Hello Ana, I'm Rudy from Vision-e, the author of the VCA and I gladly reply to the first two questions.
We use a neural network applied to the images to detect objects (humans, vehicles, animals). On each frame the network extract the bounding box (the colored rectangles into the video) containing the object and its class (people, car, truck, bike, bird, dog, ...). In this way we know where are humans and animals every seconds. The perimeters of Zone A of the Protected Area have been defined manually for each camera, unfortunately they are not shown in the video but are close to the fences. With this data it becomes easy to calculate who and when is in the Zone A.
The cameras are IP and POE (Power Over Ethernet) so the power supply is injected in data cables coming from Cà Rossa Visitor Center.
These are a low power cameras with less that 3W for each. The brain of the system is not a PC but an embedded board low power consuming (peak < 15W). This hardware configuration is designed to easily switch to solar panels, making the system autonomous, in order to be replicated in areas where a power source is not available.

Mauro Generali

CEETO Project PP01 Communication Manager at Regione Emilia Romagna - Servizio Aree Protette, Foreste e Sviluppo della Montagna

This innovative sperimentation of VCA in "almost natural" environment, took some energy and time, so, at the moment, no other survey has been carried out. This method can be easily integrated with other survey methods, like questionnaire. Furthermore, its authomatic and quantitative approach, make it easy to assess the effect of every managerial activity like education/sensibilization, placing of plates, etc.

Andrea Solić

Programme Manager at WWF Adria

wouuu

2 replies

Andrea Solić

Programme Manager at WWF Adria

Mauro, it would vbe great to get reply to this questions. Maybe PA practitioners and rserchers already use this method for wildlife monitoring? :-)

Mauro Generali

CEETO Project PP01 Communication Manager at Regione Emilia Romagna - Servizio Aree Protette, Foreste e Sviluppo della Montagna

So far the recognition algorithms are "educated" on more "urban" environments, but, if there is interest in the matter, I believe that the Neural Network (AI) can be trained to recognize also different species of animals and therefore be used also for the automatic monitoring of the passages of various species. Obviously it will not be able to go into great detail (like distinguishing deer, roe deer and fallow deer), but a roe deer from a wild boar, a badger or a wolf, I think it is certainly possible.