LIFE Brenta 2030

The LIFE Brenta 2030 project aims to increase biodiversity and improve the provision of water-related ecosystem services of river habitats, wetlands and agricultural areas of the Natura 2000 site “Grave e Zone Umide del Brenta“.

The project focuses mainly on the drinking water sector because it is the most economically relevant ecosystem service and is a priority field of work for all institutions involved. To combine several objectives, the project aims to promote good governance by creating positive synergies between drinking water and biodiversity conservation, mitigating and transforming the main threats into funding opportunities for the conservation of the Natura 2000 site to which it is addressed.

In this sense, it enters into full synergy with the Gruppo Operativo Brenta 2030, which focuses on critical issues related to the agricultural world and connects them to Natura 2000 issues.

The LIFE Programme

The LIFE Programme is the European Union’s financing instrument for the environment and climate created in 1992 and divided into two sub-programmes, one for the environment (representing 75% of the total budget) and one for climate (representing 25% of the budget). The current funding period 2014-2020 has a total budget of EUR 3.4 billion.

Nature and biodiversity
The LIFE Brenta 2030 project (LIFE18 -NAT_EN_000756) is part of the LIFE Nature and Biodiversity sub-programme (area: biodiversity). The sub-programme was created to finance nature conservation projects contributing to the implementation of the Community Directives on biodiversity and the management of the Natura 2000 network.
Find out more about the LIFE programme on the EASME site, the Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises which was set up by the European Commission to manage EU programmes in the areas of SME support and innovation, environment, climate action, energy and maritime affairs: visit the official page.

Project Objectives


Implementation of green and blue infrastructure and restoration of wet habitats functional to biodiversity conservation and groundwater recharge


Study and implementation of a pilot funding mechanism for the conservation of water resources and biodiversity


Design and establishment of an innovative governance system capable of ensuring the sustainability and replicability of conservation actions and interventions

LIFE Brenta 2030, step by step

Start of LIFE Brenta 2030
July, 2019

A major conservation and governance project to improve biodiversity and water resources in the Middle Brenta starts.

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Educational activities
December, 2019

100 interventions per year for a total of 400 environmental education workshops, involving 8,000 students on the themes of biodiversity and management of the Brenta River. [E 4, LIFE]

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Launch event
June, 2020

TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE OF THE RIVER BRENTA. An opportunity to deepen the context of the river and the LIFE project, discussing with experts in the area. Browse the presentations and watch the recording of the event in the dedicated page [E2, LIFE]

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Environmental Presidium
June, 2020

The start of activities in the protected areas of the river, by a multifunctional operator of ETRA that will take care of environmental control and waste collection. [C6, LIFE]

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Training Course
June, 2020

The training course aims to improve the management of the Natura 2000 site “Grave e Zone Umide del Brenta” and to increase the social capital of the area through training and confrontation between all the realities of the territory. The training is addressed to municipal technicians, environmental and ecology councillors, local authorities and environmental and civil society associations. For details and registration please visit the page dedicated to the training path [A4, LIFE]

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Project actions

A1 Integration of water resource planning with the management of Natura 2000, ecosystem services and green infrastructure

A2 Analysis of priority ecosystem services and development of intervention scenarios

A3 Executive design and environmental assessment of restoration and conservation works

A4 Governance, capacity building and animation of Medio Brenta stakeholders

C1 Implementation of the pilot funding mechanism for the conservation of water resources and biodiversity

The action develops an economic evaluation methodology for the inclusion of Environmental and Resource Costs (ERC) in ETRA’s water service tariff system.

C2 Nursery production and planting at project sites of plants for the increase of floristic biodiversity

C3 Creation of green/blue infrastructure and restoration of multi-functional wetland habitats

The action carries out interventions to restore humid ecosystems within the site. The interventions are defined “multifunctional” for their twofold purpose: to ensure the conservation of biodiversity (thus acting as a habitat) and to increase the infiltration surface for the recharge of the aquifer.

C4 Infrastructure for reducing the impact of recreational use

Given the highly urbanized context and the consequent use that threatens water protection environments and biodiversity, “light” interventions are carried out to reduce the impact of recreational use.

C5 Involvement of the agricultural sector, promotion of agri-food measures and other funding opportunities

The aim is to maintain and improve the sustainability of farms in and around the site.

C6 Implementation of an innovative environmental protection system to support monitoring and governance

The innovative aspect are the costs of environmental protection, initially borne by the project, will be borne by the water tariff system and the waste tax. The action will have a positive impact in preventing waste abandonment and regulating the recreational use of the area.

D1 Habitat and species monitoring

D2 Monitoring and evaluation of socio-economic impacts of the project

D3 Monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services and impacts of the project on water services

E1 Development of communication and dissemination tools

E2 Technical communication to key stakeholders

E3 Networking, lobbying and strategy for replication of funding mechanisms

E4 Environmental education and dissemination to local people


  • Restoration and improvement of ecosystem services per 100 ha of habitats
  • Creation of 17 ha of multifunctional wetland habitats
  • Improved water quality for 9 mln mc of water
  • Infiltration of 876,000 mc/ha/year of water thanks to the interventions carried out
  • 34% increase in agricultural area cultivated with sustainable agri-food techniques
  • 8,000 students involved in the 100 meetings/year planned
  • 21 information panels installed
  • Testing of an innovative and functional governance model for the conservation of the site

The Brenta after the LIFE project

LIFE Brenta 2030 bases its essence and originality in an innovative “business model” that allows the financing and therefore the perpetuation of the actions foreseen by the project itself. Thanks to the synergies developed within the project between biodiversity and water resource management, between biodiversity and waste collection, ETRA and the Brenta Basin Council – together with the rest of the partnership – will be able to maintain a series of additional activities because they are however linked to their primary activity: water resources management, protection of conservation areas and waste collection.

The 5-year period will in fact be the regulatory and planning instrument that will integrate site-specific conservation measures, the ecosystem approach and green infrastructure, and with which habitat and water resource conservation activities will be regulated. With respect to the Management Plan, the Scope Plan includes several instances (Natura 2000, water resource, recreational activities) and its implementation budget and therefore the interest for its application will be guaranteed by the different institutions that will take part in its elaboration.

The territorial animator formed within the A4, will be maintained at the Municipality of Carmignano to continue the participatory planning activities, attracting additional sources of funding. The technician can also act as local expert that will give continuity to LIFE within the new governance system developed.

The flow model and the SSD for intervention scenarios will remain the main tools to steer investments in green infrastructure and/or multifunctional conservation activities (water and biodiversity). Thanks to the mechanism provided by the C1, these interventions will find annual financial coverage as they are included in the Brenta Basin Council Scope Plan, which will provide for investments in green infrastructure to be implemented in subsequent years.

Thanks to the introduction of the ETRA Integrated Scope Plan and the Brenta Basin Council will continue to invest in green and blue infrastructure to ensure groundwater recharge, safeguard catchment areas, purify wastewater discharges from purifiers, improve water quality of water resources and habitats. A minimum investment of 100,000 euro/year is planned for conservation interventions, to implement the innovative “green” interventions foreseen by the Integrated Scope Plan.

The project will be hosted on the platform and reforestation activities will continue in support of individuals and farmers present in the SAC.

The innovative system of territorial control and waste collection will be kept active even after the end of the project. This system will be charged to the waste collection tariff, maintained by ETRA.

Thanks to the work on monitoring ecosystem water services, which will involve all regional authorities and create a single integrated monitoring system, the work will proceed and will benefit from the data and comparisons made possible thanks to the project

The LIFE Brenta 2030 website will become the reference website for the naturalistic area “Grave e Zone Umide del Brenta”. Etifor, together with the project partners, is committed to its maintenance and to the extension of its functions as a “web hub” for all conservation initiatives related to the Middle-Brenta area.

The education activity and prepared materials integrating the concepts of biodiversity and SAC/SPA in schools will continue after the project thanks to the ETRA structure.


Etra (capofila)

Etra – Energia Territorio Risorse Ambientali è una multiutility a totale proprietà pubblica che dal 2006 gestisce il servizio idrico integrato, la gestione dei rifiuti e delle acque reflue nell’area del bacino del Brenta.


Etifor is a spin-off of the University of Padua that provides consultancy in the field of responsible management of natural resources; the company is a leader in Italy in the analysis and enhancement of ecosystem services and biodiversity through the definition of innovative financing policies and instruments.

Consiglio di Bacino Brenta 

The Brenta Basin Council is the Government Body of the “Brenta” Optimal Territorial Area. It is responsible for tariff regulation and integrated water service planning.

Municipality of Carmignano di Brenta

The Municipality is the territorial leader in local initiatives that ensures the area, although fundamental for water supply, does not lose the environmental value that has always characterized it.

Veneto Acque

Veneto Acque S.p.A., a company controlled by the Veneto Region, has the mission to guarantee the citizens of Veneto full and safe availability of drinking water through the distribution of water resources to integrated water service companies.

University of Padua, Territory and Agro-Forestal Systems Department

The University of Padua is a modern, multidisciplinary and highly specialized training institute thanks to its departmental structure. The activity of the Department of Land and Agro-Forestry Systems (TESAF) is strongly oriented towards the study, conservation, effective management and sustainable use of agricultural, forestry and environmental resources.

Agenzia Veneta per l’Innovazione nel Settore Primario – Veneto Agricoltura

The Agency carries out support activities for the Regional Council in the field of agricultural, forestry, agri-food and fishery policies. The Agency is involved in the protection of biodiversity through the management of state forests, nature reserves and the Biodiversity Centre.


Municipality of Bassano del Grappa, Municipality of Campo San Martino, Municipality of Cartigliano, Municipality of Cittadella, Municipality of Curtarolo, Municipality of Fontaniva, Municipality of Grantorto, Municipality of Limena, Municipality of Nove, Municipality of Piazzola sul Brenta, Municipality of Pozzoleone, Municipality of San Giorgio in Bosco, Municipality of Tezze sul Brenta, Municipality of Vigodarzere


Girolibero, Fondazione G.E. Ghirardi ONLUS, FSC® Italia, Sgambaro, Coop Alleanza 3.0, Legor Group, Cooperativa Sociale Jonathan

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