Restoring biodiversity along the Italian Green Belt: forgotten bunkers, abandoned meadows and disappearing ponds

The project is being implemented by Associazione Rete Italiana European Green Belt APS in partnership with Wild Routes in the period of October 2022 until September 2024.

An old bunker. © Rete Italiana


In the last decades, Lusevera, a small mountain municipality in the Julian Prealps, has experienced profound changes in land use and economy and faced a steep population decline, leading to tradition loss and biodiversity degradation. Our project wants to counteract these effects by repurposing forgotten military structures to benefit biodiversity while supporting environmental education and eco-tourism initiatives in this particular part oft he Green Belt.



To enhance biodiversity in our region, we will implement three exciting actions:

  • Bats' haven: Transform old bunkers into bat hibernaculas, promoting awareness of their ecological importance.
  • Alpine meadows revival: Restore 5/6 hectares of shooting range back to Alpine meadows by reintroducing traditional agroecosystems and sheep grazing.
  • Ponds reborn: Revitalize 5 vanishing ponds, vital habitats and breeding grounds for endangered amphibians.



On-site interventions will follow scientific guidelines and be supplemented by surveys to monitor biodiversity progress. Results will be compiled in a dataset and a manual, guiding future conservation efforts. To promote EGB, eco-tourism, and environmental education, and foster strong cooperation with local stakeholders, we planned conferences, guided walks tailored for schools, a virtual tour, and strategic placement of informative panels.

Guided tour with school children. © Leonardo Cerno

Expected Results

Our aim is to restore disappearing alpine ecosystems to enhance biodiversity: we envision bunkers as havens for endangered bats, rejuvenated meadow habitats and eco-services, and a thriving small alpine wetland with optimal conditions for wildlife survival, especially amphibians. Educational events will raise public awareness on the importance of healthy ecosystems, and eco-tourism will showcase this beautiful region and community.

Restoring biodiversity along the Italian Green Belt: forgotten bunkers, abandoned meadows and disappearing ponds

Nearest city:

The project is being implemented in the Municipality of Lusevera.


Rete Italiana
Via Dante, 35/a, 34070
Mariano del Friuli (Gorizia), Italy

Contact person for the BESTbelt project is
Francesca Siardi segreteria(at)
Davide Scridel davidescridel(at)
Francesca Visintin rete.italiana.egb(at)

Duration: 24 months

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