Protecting Nature
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Protecting Nature

Organizations and Networks in Europe and the USA

Edited by C. S.A. (Kris) van Koppen and William T. Markham

Providing a detailed description of all the major nature protection organizations and networks, including overviews of their current membership, activities, and as far as available, budgets, Protecting Nature will be of great interest to lecturers and postgraduate students in social science fields, as well as researchers in the fields of environmental policy, environmental NGOs, social movements, civil society, nature management and policy. Members of nature protection, environmental and other civil society organizations who seek a better understanding of the historical development of nature protection organizations and networks, as well as the strategies employed by those organizations, will also find much to interest them in this book.
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Chapter 5: Nature Protection Organizations in Italy: From Elitist Fervour to Confluence with Environmentalism

Giorgio Osti


5. Nature protection organizations in Italy: from elitist fervour to confluence with environmentalism Giorgio Osti INTRODUCTION Nature protection organizations in Italy have a long history, albeit one that is often overlooked in recent accounts of the Green movement. A number of quasi-national organizations that focused on protecting nature for recreational and scientific purposes were founded during the last decades of the nineteenth century, and their legacy is important for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the present-day Italian environmental movement. In the course of their history, the strong and innovative nature protection motivations of these organizations faded away, leaving the environmental organizations founded in the 1970s without a wide base of public support. They are, nevertheless, a part of Italian social history that deserves renewed attention. Clarifying this segment of social history and examining the place of nature protection within the environmental movement today is the aim of this chapter. The first step toward realizing this aim is to clarify the specific profile of nature protection organizations within the galaxy of Italian environmentalism. Looking at the list of associations recognized by the Ministry of Environment, it is quite easy to identify four types of organization: animal protection, environmental, recreational and scientific.1 All have an interest in the protection of nature, but few have nature protection as their primary goal. If we apply the following criteria: (a) the number and size of nature reserves directly managed by the association; (b) involvement in policy making about national...

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