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Project “School-oriented Interactive Identification Tools (SiiT): exploring biodiversity in a cross-border area”

Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Italy-Slovenia 2007-2013

SIIT is a three-year project started in 2011, aimed to enhance the knowledge of biodiversity in a large area from the nord Adriatic regions of Italy and western Slovenia, providing schools (from elementary to university), amateurs and citizens of innovative tools for the identification of plants, animals and other organisms.

The guides of SIIT can also be used in the field by means of latest generation of mobile phones. SIIT organizes demonstrations, training seminars, teaching and experimental activities with schools. The project involves 11 partners (Italian and Slovenian), including universities, schools, natural history museums, parks and local development agencies. The project is funded through the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme (Interreg Italy-Slovenia 2007-2013), the European regional development fund and national funds.

Thanks to SIIT project, a simple interactive guide for the recognition of fishes has recently been presented. The digital guide to the fishes of the river Reno (http://dbiodbs.units.it/carso/chiavi_pub21?sc=602), from Argenta to the river mouth, is in fact a new tool of particular interest for schools but also for tourists. In the Po Delta, characterized by different aquatic habitats, from the sea to freshwaters, fishes represent an important ecosystem part and have also an economic and cultural value.

What is more, in the Po Delta Park have been developed a user-friendly guide for the recognition of plants of Argenta wetlands (http://dbiodbs.units.it/carso/chiavi_pub21?sc=513). This tool is very useful to know and study aquatic plants that live in rivers, canals and freshwater marshes.

Recently two new portals have been created in order to recognize the rich and interesting flora of the Cervia saltpan  (http://dryades.units.it/saline) and the plants that grow in the lower course of Lamone river (http://dryades.units.it/lamone) in the province of Ravenna. There are new interactive tools that allow, even to non-experts, to "explore" and identify plant species in an easy and intuitive way. With these tools it will be easier to find the plants that live near freshwaters, but also to study particular plants of saltpan, such as the halophytes (plants that “love” salty soils).

For schools there is a cross-border competition (http://www.siit.eu/index.php/scuole/concorso-per-le-scuole), that rewards the best educational project focused on the recognition of biodiversity.

Read more about the project: http://www.siit.eu/

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