The success of the conservation process depends on our ability of constraining human behaviour into activities that are sustainable and respectful of the imperative of maintaining all Earth’s ecosystems in good health and endowed with their full natural complement of biological diversity. As a consequence, conservation is ultimately a political process. As a marine scientist, I served as a marine policy advisor to various national and international bodies, also participating in multilateral meetings and negotiations in representation of Italy.
Since 1992 I have participated in the negotiations among Italy, Monaco and France on an international agreement for the creation of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean marine mammals. I was invited by the Italian government to attend as an expert to the preliminary inter-governmental meetings which took place in Genoa in December 1992 and in Nice in January 1993. In 1999 I participated as a member of the Italian delegation to the final negotiations meetings in Rome (April) and Paris (July). During the signature ceremony in Rome, on 25 Nov. 1999, I was invited by the Italian Minister of the Environment to deliver the keynote address. On 7 March 2007 I was nominated by the Italian Minister of the environment to become part of the Pelagos Sanctuary Italian Steering Committee, where I still serve.
Since 1995 I have been involved in supporting the participation of Italy to the works of the International Whaling Commission, and contributed to the establishment of a national policy on whaling issues and on the promotion of a conservation agenda within the IWC, in cooperation with other like-minded nations. I was observer for Italy at the 47th Annual Meeting in Dublin (1995), and attended the 50th Annual Meeting in Oman (1998) as the Italian delegate to the Scientific Committee. From 1999 I served as Commissioner or Alternate Commissioner for Italy to the following meetings: 51st Annual Meeting in Grenada, West Indies (1999; Alternate Commissioner), 52nd Annual Meeting In Adelaide, Australia (2000; Commissioner), Intersessional Meeting on the RMS in Monaco (2001; Commissioner), 53rd Annual Meeting in Hammersmith, London (2001; Commissioner), Special Meeting in Cambridge, U.K. (2002; Commissioner), 55th Annual Meeting in Berlin (2003; Commissioner), 56th Annual Meeting in Sorrento (2004; Alternate Commissioner). I have served as counsellor for IWC-related matters to the Italian Minister of Agricultural policies (Min. Decree n. 436 of 8 April 2003).
In October 1992, in representation of IUCN, I participated in an initial negotiation meeting on the conservation of cetaceans of the Mediterranean and Black Seas, jointly organised in Athens by the Secretariats of the Barcelona, Bern and Bonn Conventions. I later attended as an invited expert to a second meeting, organised in Monaco in September 1995 by the Secretariat of the Bonn Convention. I participated as a member of the Italian delegation to the final negotiations and signature meeting of the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS), held in Monaco in November 1996. I was invited to attend as an expert for the Agreement’s Interim Secretariat to the First Meeting of the Parties to ACCOBAMS, held in Monaco in Feb. – March 2002, where the Agreement’s conservation policies which I had developed were formally adopted.