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Rocca di Cerere Geopark, application dossier 2009 - English version

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Rocca di Cerere Geopark, application dossier 2009 - English version
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  INDEXA. DEFINITION OF THE EUROPEAN GEOPARK TERRITORY  A.1 NAME OF THE SITE APPLYING TO BECOME AEUROPEAN GEOPARK........................................................ 3  A.2 LOCATION............................................................................................................................................................ 3  A.3 SURFACE AREA, GEOGRAPHIC AND HUMAN ELEMENTS............................................................................. 4  A.4 ORGANIZATION IN CHARGE OF THE EUROPEAN GEOPARK ZONE............................................................. 5  A.5 ENCLOSURES..................................................................................................................................................... 7 B. SCIENTIFIC DESCRIPTION OF THE EUROPEAN GEOPARK TERRITORY B.1DEFINITION OF THE GEOGRAPHICALREGION IN WHICH THE NOMINATED AREAIS LOCATED.............. 8 B.2 GENERALGEOLOGICALDESCRIPTION........................................................................................................... 11 B.3 LISTS AND DESCRIPTION OF THE GEOLOGICALSITES PRESENTIN THE EUROPEAN GEOPARK........ 16 B.4 DETAILS ON THE INTERESTAND INTERNATIONAL, NATIONALOR REGIONALSIGNIFICANCE OFTHESE SITES (SCIENTIFIC, EDUCATIONALETC.)................................................................................................ 16 B.5 CURRENTOR POTENTIALPRESSURE ON THE PROPOSED GEOPARK AND THESE SITES..................... 16 B.6 CURRENTSTATUS IN TERMS OF PROTECTION OF THE SITES................................................................... 17 B.7 DATAON THE MANAGEMENTOF THESE SITES............................................................................................ 18 B.8 LISTING AND DESCRIPTION OF NON-GEOLOGICALSITES IN THE TERRITORI THATMAYBE LINKED TO THE SITES OF GEOLOGICALINTEREST............................................................................................ 18 C. ARGUMENTS FOR NOMINATING THE TERRITORYAS AEUROPEAN GEOPARK C.1 COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF THE TERRITORY'S POTENTIALFOR DEVELOPMENTOF GEO-TOURISM........................................................................................................................................................... 23 C.2 OVERVIEW OF THE EXISTING GEO-INSTITUTE AND GEO-ACTIVITIES IN THE REGION OF THE GEOPARK................................................................................................................................................................... 24 C.3 POLICIES FOR THE PROTECTION ENHANCEMENTAND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTOF THE GEOLOGICALHERITAGE PRESENTIN THE TERRITORY. EXISTING POLICIES AND THOSE UNDER PREPARATION, EXISTING AND FUTURE ACTIONS............................................................................................... 24 C.4 THE TERRITORY'S INTERESTIN JOINING THE EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK............................... 24 D. GENERALINFORMATION ON THE TERRITORY D.1 ECONOMIC ACTIVITY........................................................................................................................................ 25 D.2 THE PROVISIONS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE TERRITORY................................................................. 26 D.3 BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE PRESENTSTATUS OF PROTECTION OF THE TERRITORY................................ 27 D.4 EXISTING FACILITIES (MUSEUMS, SITES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, MARKED TRAILS ETC.) AND DETAILS OF THEIR COLLABORATION WITH THE GEOPARK............................................................................... 27 D.5 WORK IN PROGRESS......................................................................................................................................... 29 ENCLOSURES DISTRICTREGULATION............................................................................................................................................ 34 THE ENVIROMENTS.................................................................................................................................................. 42 THE GYPSUM FLORA................................................................................................................................................ 48 THE FAUNA................................................................................................................................................................. 52 THE SULPHUR MINES............................................................................................................................................... 58 GEOLOGICALMAP..................................................................................................................................................... 65 GEOSITES.................................................................................................................................................................. 68 BIBLIOGRAFY............................................................................................................................................................. 72 1  A.1NAME OF THE SITE APPLYING TO BECOME AEUROPEAN GEOPARK The site, already positively nominated to the status of “European Geopark”, bearing the name of ParcoCulturale Rocca di Cerere, has been renamed “Roccadi Cerere Geopark, after the unanimous decisions takenwithin the Coordination Committee in Cussak (France)in the year 2006.The name “Rocca di Cerere” has been chosen becauseof the ancient consecration of this territory to theChthonian divinities. Already the indigenous inhabitantsof Ancient Sicily, the Sicanians and the Sicels worship-ped figures related to the Earth and its Underground. As amply proved by the relationship between the typesof tombs found in the stone funeral chambers, the col-lective foetal-position burials and the funeral ideology of an afterlife connected with the underground. Theseforms of worship can be summarised with the Latinname of Ceres , the goddess known be the Greeks as Demeter  , a deity that protected agriculture. She wasworshipped on the highest peak of the city of Henna  –on the Rocca di Cerere.The choice of this name thus assumes the close rela-tionship that has been established in time between thetelluric myth, the mother Earth and man. A.2 LOCATION The Geopark area is located in the central zone of Sicilyand falls into the central southern belt of the Province of Enna.Enna is head of province or chief-town, it is 72 km awayfrom the Fontanarossa International Airport of Catania,which is reachable by speedway (A19 PA-CT).Furthermore it is 120 km away, by speedway, fromPalermo and its International Airport; 100 km away fromTermini Imerese, seat of a big passengers’and goodsseaport; 85 km away from the seaport of Catania. TheGeopark is crossed not only by the speedway A19, bythe railway Catania-Palermo with stops at Dittaino- Assoro, Pirato-Leonforte, Enna Scalo, Villarosa Scalo(seat of the Museum Train).The territory is criss-crossed by the State roads 117,117bis, 561, 121, 191 and by a dense net of provincialroads that enable good travelling movements.The major Sicilian tourist sites can be reached fromEnna in an average of 3 hrs’drive (Taormina 2 hrs,Syracuse 2 hrs, Agrigentum 1.30 hrs, Sciacca 2 hrs,Cefalù 1 hr). A.3 SURFACE AREA, GEOGRAPHIC AND HUMANELEMENTS The Rocca di Cerere Geopark encloses a vast area of about 1,279.80 sq. km and entirely encloses the townterritories of Enna, Piazza Armerina, Aidone,Valguarnera, Villarosa, Leonforte, Assoro, Nissoria,Calascibetta as well as the hamlets of the towns of Nicosia, Pietraperzia and Caltanissetta, where the natu-ral protected areas that partake to the Geopark partner-ship. Land use Great part of the territory is used for agricultural purpo-ses, with a predominance of extensive cultivations, cropgrowing as well as pasture fodder.In several areas there can be found cultivations of value, essentially arboreal and typical like olive groves,peach groves and almond groves. Very little is the areaintended for vines. In recent years the cultivation of prickly pears has become widespread. Little above 10% of the surface area is used for forestryboth local with a predominance of Quercus ilex and Quercus pubescens , and reforestation of conifers andbroad-leaved species.Very interesting is the area covered with garrigue, scru-bland and steppe, which are usually included in thesites of Communitarian Importance – SIC.Finally only a very small part is used as urban area,mainly in the Enna and Piazza Armerina areas, or for industrial implants, like the ASI of Dittaino, where no 3 Cerere’s rock General map  A. A. DEFINITION OF THE EUROPEAN GEOPDEFINITION OF THE EUROPEAN GEOPARK TERRITARK TERRITOROR Y Y  .  unhealthy industrial production is carried out. Geopark holistic way Our geopark policy is aimed to create a connection bet-ween man, environment, culture, society and geology inclose agreement with the general philosophy of theEuropean Geoparks Network.The geological diversity found within the geopark offersgreat possibilities to demonstrate how geology is able toinfluence the bio-diversity, animal breeding, agriculture,communication and the very important aspects of lifeand cultural evolution like the human presence ever since pre-history and proto-history, and the great epo-pee during which the exploitation of gypsum and sul-phur was carried out. Population The resident population of the District involved is equalto 97,804 in habitants (Istat, 2001).The average population density is 76.4 inhabitants / sq.km, such value is higher than the provincial value (69.20), and much inferior to the average regionalvalue.In the last ten years the resident population of the area,likewise for the total province population, has beensubject to a decreasing flux. Such trend however resultsas a contrast, compared to the regional value which issubstantially stable.Even on the basis of the songle town, the variations of the populations are registered in line with the provincialtrend except for the towns of Enna and Assoro, where agrowth is recorded due to movements from other townsof the area or the re-entry of migrants. Note must betaken in particular to the strong progressive reduction of  Aidone, Leonforte and Piazza Armerina. As far as the per-capita income is concerned, accordingto data given by the Enna Chamber of Commerce andthe Institute Tagliacarne, the Province of Enna has oneof the highest per-capita income in Sicily; in fact, withits € 11,584, it is placed on the 82° position, soon after Ragusa (11,604) 81° position and Trapani (11,687) 80°position, all the other six Sicilian provinces follow.Furthermore from this data, an outstanding difference isnoted between the per-capita income of the northernItalian provinces with the southern ones, a difference of nearly 45% less. The province of Enna, for example,has 45.60% less than the province of Milan, where thehighest income registered is € 21,284 per-capita. Tourism In spite of the presence of a considerable cultural heri-tage, the tourist flow that concerns the entire province of Enna results numerically poor, even if increasingsignals are perceived. Actually the lack of a developing 4 TOWNSRESIDENTPOPULATIONSURFACE AREA( sq. km) POPULATIONDENSITY(in hab. p/sq.km)TOWN ALTITUDE (m a.s.l.) Aidone 6,057209.928.9800Assoro 5,393111.548.4850Calascibetta 4,82988.254.8691Enna 28,983357.281.1931Leonforte 14,14584.1168.2603 Nissoria 3,01461.648.9691Piazza Armerina 21,03830369.4697Valguarnera C. 8,6499.3928590Villarosa 5,69655103.5523 Total GEOPARKAREA97,804 1,279.876.4 Total Province177,200 256269.2 Region of Sicily4,968,991 25,707.9193.3 TOWNSRESIDENTPOPULATIONVARIATIONS 1991 - 2001October2001October1991Absolute ValuesPercentages Aidone6,0577,275-1,218-16.7Assoro5,3935,319741.4Calascibetta4,8295,014-185-3,7Enna28,98328,2737102.5Leonforte14,14515,147-1,002-6.6 Nissoria3,0143,152-138-4.4Piazza A.21,03822,355-1317-5.9Valguarnera C.8,6499,171-522-5.7Villarosa5,6966,205-509-8.2 Total GEOPARKarea97,804101,911-4,107-4Total Province177,200186,182-8,982-4.8Region of Sicily4,968,9914,966,3862,6050.1    A .   D  e   f   i  n   i   t   i  o  n  o   f   t   h  e   E  u  r  o  p  e  a  n   G  e  o  p  a  r   k   t  e  r  r   i   t  o  r  y  tourist product which can be seriously considered as analternative to coastal tourism, puts the territory of Ennain the last position of the scale of the Sicilian provincesfor the numbers of tourist presences (just 1.4%).In the year 2003, a total of 55,762 arrivals and 113,414presences were registered in the entire territory of theprovince of Enna. In the year 2004 there was a slight increase of touristfluxes, in fact 56,515 tourist arrivals (+1.3% comparedto the year 2003 ) and 115,790 presences (+2% compa-red to the year 2003).The analysis of the srcin of these tourists is evidencedas follows: 63.3% of the arrivals consist of Italians ( of which 55.3% come from the same Island, followed waybehind by the Lombard tourists (6.9%) and of thosefrom Lazio (6 %).There are similar results for the presences – of the115,790 tourists 74% were attributed to the Italian resi-dents and the remaining 26% to foreign visitors. As of today the sites mostly visited are the mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale, with an average of about400.000 paying visitors. Likewise for the nearbyMorgantina, after all this Greek polis has lately becomepart of the archaeological area used to representancient theatrical tragedies. To these two great attrac-tions is added the constantly increasing flux of visitorsmotivated to extend their sojourn towards those natura-listically interesting destinations like Lake Pergusa,Mount Altesina, the Imera Valley, all considered to be“the best geosites” of the Geopark. No other geopark comparable to this in theEuropean Geopark Network. No other Geopark within the Network can count on thegreat amount of evidence connected to the MessinianSalinity crisis of the Mediterranean. Here the internatio-nally identified stratotype is present at Pasquasia andthe series usually appears complete and identifiable inits natural surface. To this geologic visibility of the mes-sinian crisis, evident only in very small edges near theMadonie Geopark and in the Psiloritis Geopark it is con-nected to numerous closed down mines structures thatemployed it since pre-historic times. Another characteristic, not unique but certainly of greatimportance, is the presence of those formations relatedto the Numidic Flysch, with unimaginable quartz san-dstone risings and usually of great geological, geo-mor-phological and of palaeontologic importance. A.4 ORGANIZATION IN CHARGE OF THEEUROPEAN GEOPARK ZONERocca di Cerere Geopark – AQuality Rural, Cultural,Sustainable Tourist District To resort to an associative District locally, representsan attempt to put into a network all those factors arounda good idea as a precise, locally integrated, sustainabledevelopment strategy and, at the same time, the Districtis the strategic instrument to re-launch those identityvalues that can be found within a territory, as an evolvedproduct of the interaction between natural and culturalfactors.Thus it finds synthesis and development in the geo-tou-rism and Geopark idea, for the revaluation and thus thesafeguard of the local rural heritage.The District strategy can have a triple valence:1.as an instrument to program the sustainable deve-lopment of the Rocca di Cerere area,2.as an operational support to reposition that part of the territory to a ready tourism,3.as a hauling element for the area with a high-potential, but that is not able to take off.With the creation of the District, it is intended to revalueand promote in a new way the territory of the Rocca diCerere Geopark and its resources, proposing a geo-tou-rism development with a series of “routes” that, at thesame time, put in evidence the natural geologic wine,gastronomy, tourist and cultural values while creating aco-ordinated and quality tourist-reception offer, even inrelation to complementary services. As far as the partnership is concerned the District hasthe role to integrate and to put to system, alwaysrespecting the differentiation of the functions, the publicboards as authorised responsible entities of the pro-gramming, revaluation and safeguard of the territorytogether with private operators represented in the initialphase by L.A.G.The District is run by the District Assembly, this in turnavails itself of the Coordinating Structure, the GeoparkStaff and by the Scientific Technical Committee. The Assembly consists of a President plus 18 members,that hold the seat for three years on a renewable basis.The role of the District Coordinating Structure is assi-gned to the Consortium Society a.r.l. Rocca di Cerere,already subject coordinator of the Cultural Park Rocca 5
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