Land Reclamation Today

Written by  Giorgio Stupazzoni
The perennial need to safeguard the territory.
There have been many recurring misunderstandings regarding the aims of land reclamation in the Ferrara area.

In order to provide an overview of this aspect - given the absolute need to reinforce and qualify at all levels initiatives calculated to develop an all embracing and not merely agricultural view of work undertaken - we should at least bear in mind some essential topics:

the technical content of modern land recovery schemes;

the recognition, strict and accurate, of the operative tasks of the reclamation cooperatives and their extent of their skills in the management of their public responsibilities;

the determination of the permanent forms of participation of the co-operatives in the planning and execution of work undertaken in the area;

the regulation - institutional and respected at all levels - of the relationships between the co-operatives and the services of the region, of the bodies delegated, of the authorities responsible for the catchment area etc.
In the light of agriculture's evident and progressive loss of political importance, it is no surprise that many would like to eliminate the co-operatives by subjugating them completely to the public authority; on the other hand few are thinking of the need to ensure the functioning and the modernization of systems calculated to safeguard the area.

The defence of the waters (and defending man against them), the safeguarding and utilization of the land, and the protection of the environment are objectives that may only be efficiently achieved if work is permanently co-ordinated, in the first place by bringing the management of the area's water resources under one umbrella, if we accept that the size of the territory in question should refer not only to the entire catchment area but to society as a whole and not merely to a limited "ruralistic" conception of the respective provinces of the various institutions.
The new prospects opened up by modern land reclamation will certainly oblige the co-operatives to do away with old-fashioned models of management and organization.
The interdependence of evolutionary processes in the use of the area, the greater dimensions and composite characteristics of the new reclamation districts, the plurality of directly interested economic sectors and the increasing environmental value of land reclamation are elements that have more and more weight when it comes to defining goals and establishing homogeneous operational methods for all the co-operatives, whose responsibility it is - with ever more attentive administrations that are ever more aware of certain managerial aspects of such enterprises - to aim to renew structures, to extend the area's defences, and to pursue increased productivity and cost efficiency by improving professional standards and the adaptability of their own structures and by making it possible to have a clear comparison between operational costs and the advantages that have accrued to the area.

The human resources of the reclamation movement, its technicians, managers and representatives will continue to provide the essential safeguards required to protect the territory.
For their part, local and national government have an obligation to back up such services with all the possible and necessary resources, financial and otherwise.