At the center the conservation of natural habitats. Valuable instruments culture, science and national plans. An ancient bond. It is what unites hunters to the land even today. Out of any rhetoric, and yet in dialogue with the exponents of today's environmentalism, Arci Caccia reiterates the concept: the role that hunting plays in the protection of the environment and biodiversity must be recognised. What does it mean? We talked about it with the president Christian Maffei.
THE ORIGINS AND THE VALUES
“Arci Caccia was founded in 1969 and today it is characterized by the attention to two aspects par excellence: on the one hand the all-round environment, therefore not only for hunting purposes, but declined in the commitment of hunters in monitoring activities, conservation and work on woods and forests; on the other hand, the role of hunters in society, based on a conception of hunting as an activity not reserved exclusively for an economic and cultural elite, but, carried out within precise rules, a real heritage of the population ”. Only on the basis of these two pillars is it possible to understand the commitment and challenges that concern Arci Caccia and the Italian associations in the sector outside the clichés or 'positions'.
“Let's start from the last aspect: it is a theme recently questioned by the agricultural associative component which pushes towards a private model of hunting. Our contrast with this line is based on a strongly cultural motivation: certainly the consumerist principle into which hunting is channeled through a model of this type will catch the eye less of the environmentalist, but if one goes to the root of the question it can be understood that this would translate into an increasingly rapid decline of hunting from the point of view of tradition and culture". Why is it for the environment? “When we talk about tradition, in the case of hunting we mean a deep bond with the territory and respect for nature. Maintaining an access plan, for example to the Alpine districts, means placing conservation at the center of the management of the withdrawal, i.e. the protection of biodiversity and fauna as required by law 357. It must be understood that behind a non-optimal management of the withdrawal, which is what for which we are committed in the first instance today, there is a strong risk in terms of biodiversity”.
Here the contribution of the sciences comes into play, which allows the practice to be inserted within modern knowledge, to contribute to the protection of fauna, to its balance. “The findings from the scientific world allow us to respect the coexistence of species. We are speaking in particular of migratory fauna, where scientific evolution allows us to better define the sampling areas. In the same way, the national conservation plans prove to be precious tools, which help us to manage the activity attentive to the sustainability and well-being of the environment and biodiversity”. Is it possible to build a dialogue from this point of view? “The exaggerated animalism obviously makes it difficult to build a dialogue. With the environmental panorama, however, which thinks in the round on environmental issues, we find a meeting point. We too face the challenge of not stiffening ourselves in a dialogue that questions us”. Another objective that is engaging you alongside the improvement in the management of the collection, direction care of the environment? "Definitely the protection of agricultural crops from wildlife damage."
The association works to promote correct management of the collection
Model privatization. A risk to the ecosystem. Climatic modifications among the causes of the expansion of some species to the detriment of others
“Among the challenges that we feel we have to face today – explains Christian Maffei – the privatization of the hunting activity stands out. We believe that it is the result of incorrect management of the collection and of some species in particular. As an association engaged in the sector, we are the first to assume responsibility and for this reason we work every day to achieve better management, capable of protecting biodiversity more and better. It should be clarified, however, that the increase of some species, I am referring for example to the expansion of ungulates, to the detriment of other species, is not due to the presence or activity of hunters.
It is the consequence of environmental and climatic factors which in the Italian territory have led to the increase of some species and the loss of others. In other words, in the final analysis, it is always the environment and climate that dominate”. As hunters, and of the close bond with the earth, Arci Caccia's associates know this well, and therefore they are working even better to make their commitment a service to protect the environment and biodiversity. “Today we increasingly conceive the activity not only within the boundaries deriving from tradition, history and the culture and passion that man carries with him in this field, but also focusing precisely on the nature of the practice as a potential and concrete service to the community. We feel we are custodians of a tradition that does not contradict the environment, but rather finds its deepest roots in it”.