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Thanks, Patrizia

On August 31st Patrizia Rossi will be leaving LIPU’s Agriculture section. With the competing demands of school, family and LIPU, Patrizia came to the difficult and even sad decision to leave the organisation, at least in a professional capacity, in order to dedicate herself to the rest. A personal and family decision, and a disappointing one for us, but which is at the same time understandable and completely to be respected, and came relatively quickly as a result of issues arising that had to be resolved in a limited span of time.

In these 16 years at LIPU, Patrizia was engaged in a work that was part-time but of great significance, representing an important point of reference in for us the strategic area of agriculture and its many links with bird and biodiversity conservation.

Patrizia was more or less a “Millennium Girl”, starting with LIPU almost as soon as the chimes of 2000 had faded away.

Not many know that Patrizia started her work with LIPU on the project “Development of a national system of Special Protection Areas on the basis of the IBA network”, by which LIPU was able greatly to influence the SPA network in Italy.

The LIPU Council decided that it was time for the creation of an Agricultural section, in my view (writes Claudio Celada), an enlightened decision that was destined to characterise a large proportion of our work in the last 15 years. But the work of the section had to be developed from scratch. These were the years in which BirdLife’s Agriculture Task Force was created to confront what are even today the most labyrinthine themes of Brussels politics (let’s just say that if you think that Rome is a nightmare, welcome to Brussels). Patrizia took up the reins, and with great determination and ability made LIPU into one of the pillars of the Task Force. Thanks to her, BirdLife knew it could count on Italy, a key player in agricultural politics.

Then began the era of the Farmland Bird Index. While 15 years on the FBI continues to collect the fundamental data for monitoring the status of birds associated with agriculture, it is also thanks to Patrizia’s capacity for keeping together the network of surveyors at the same time as maintaining contact with the institutions.

Many successes came too from the Plans for Rural Development, seemingly insignificant due to their being little known, but with great reach in terms of conservation, especially given their budget and the geographical area covered.

All this means that Patrizia will have to get used to my calling her on the years to come, as we cannot afford to lose all that knowledge and experience. When her family time budget allows, of course!

Replacing Patrizia will not be easy, (writes Danilo Selvaggi). We will try to do so in the best way possible. One can also add that through the work she undertook and the collaboration with her colleagues, the improved definition of our strategic position, the improvements in organisation and record keeping that we continue to make now, it will be easier for us to continue on the same course that we have done up to now.

We will shortly be informing you on the reorganisation of the section, which will temporarily be transferred to the Nature Conservation Director, Claudio Celada and the other conservation staff.

But for now, many thanks to Patrizia for the wonderful work that we have undertaken together, and a thousand good wishes for the future, personal, family and professional.

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