Inauguration of the Environment and Crime Museum at the Bioparco of Rome

(To Giusy Federici)

"It is an important initiative, it ranks among those we have been implementing since, from the first of January 2017 with last year's 177 legislative decree, we have seen tasks and personnel already belonging to the State Forestry Corps. As a custom of the carabinieri, we will try to do things well, with great determination, with great love. Making sure that the protection of nature, the knowledge of all that must be preserved, is a heritage for everyone. And above all young people". Thus the general commander of the Carabinieri Corps Tullio Del Sette summarized the aims of the Environment and Crime Museum (MACRI), inaugurated today inside the Rome Biopark. With the commander Del Sette, also the Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies Maurizio Martina and the President of the Bioparco Foundation of Rome Federico Coccìa.

The structure, the first and only of its kind in Europe, is named after the great ethologist and environmentalist Danilo Mainardi. At MACRI, 400mq, the various sectors in which environmental crimes are committed have been reconstructed, from fires to traps, to animal abuse. Some sections are dedicated to the illicit trade of endangered species, be it snakeskin, ivory, shells, traditional medicine. Other display cases contain the tools used by the police to combat environmental crimes, including the radioactive one.

Only in the first half 2017, on more than 234 thousand checks, 4 thousand people were criminally punished, 55 arrests, 10mila fines. It is an alarming fact. And the MACRI is a window on this world, on the synergy between unity forest, environmental and agri-food protection of the Carabinieri, where the State Forestry Corps and the municipal institutions merged - the councilor for the environment of the Capitoline council, Pinuccia Montanari, was present - and government officials, represented by the minister Martina. The aim of the project is to explain to young people that maintaining the beauty of the world, of nature, of animals as well as of the air we breathe, passes through legality.

"The museum of environmental crimes, in some way, attracts the curiosity of the public. But since, as I always remember, the final users of the Bioparco are children, we have integrated this path as part of environmental education also for schools”, The president of the Bioparco Foundation Federico Coccìa began. "Today, this new project built together with the Carabinieri Corps will start again, to make the children aware that environmental crime also exists. Animals are not only beautiful to look at, we let them know that behind the animals there can also be organized crime. The thing I particularly care about today is the fact that we have dedicated the museum and it came naturally and spontaneously to Danilo Mainardi, one of the greatest connoisseurs and defenders of the environment, not just an ethologist. We somehow owed this homage to him".

The unit commander forest, environmental and agri-food protection of the weapon, general Antonio Ricciardi, recalled that the MACRI already existed but it was only an exhibition with reference to the dedicated legislation, while now it is dedicated to the environmental protection of 360gradi, “as in the tasks that the Carabinieri Corps has undertaken and that we carry out, first of all with the established command of forest, environmental and agri-food protection. The MACRI it serves to educate. So that children can in turn educate their parents, that they take responsibility for the fact that they are the ones who will have to leave the world to future generations. The MACRI will give an idea of ​​all the damage that man creates to the environment of forests, waste, agribusiness, but also of what institutions do to protect nature. Therefore, the ambition of the MACRI is to be able to be visited by thousands of children. with the thought that the museum, which represents excellence, can expand with similar projects and in all the environmental reserves that the State has entrusted to our competence and that this education can be lived throughout the territory".

The Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies Maurizio Martina, thanking Arma for his work, also appreciated the dedication to Danilo Mainardi. "From personal experience - said the minister - as I told before to his wife and son, I received so much from the teachings of this extraordinary personality of our country and it is right that we remember the work, the sensitivity, the energy of this figure that has thrilled thousands of kids. It is right that we remember it in this place, building, in particular through this educational path, an ideal bridge between the history, professionalism and personality of Danilo Mainardi and what he left to the country and this place. Also because the common thread of this experience is only one, and it is the educational key, the knowledge of environmental issues, of the protection of a value such as that of animal and plant biodiversity which will increasingly be one of the great themes of the future".

It is enough to see today, added Martina, what it means to discuss climate change, also in political and institutional terms, "to understand how much need there is of knowledge, of information, how much it is necessary to do so that these are not limited to issues for experts but increasingly become major issues of public debate among citizens and especially with children and children, the Italians of tomorrow. This is our mission! And it is everyone's responsibility, from the citizen at home to institutions of all levels and in all territories, even with actions to combat a criminal phenomenon that is always changing. And here it is shown how strategic the choice we made, especially with the State Forestry Corps merged into the Carabinieri, is crucial. Because it gives the dimension of how even institutions must change their instruments of contrast, promotion and protection, follow the evolution of these phenomena, moving forces, making them more and more professional and able to follow the changes of crimes. I can assure you that, already in these few years in which I am a minister, the evolution of the criminal phenomenon in relation to agricultural, agri-food and environmental issues has changed a great deal. There are innovations that, at times, escape their immediate reading, which instead we need to understand, always better and faster".

"I see this work that has been done as a starting point for the commitment we all have to promote, in the coming years. Because, after all, discussing environmental issues and safeguarding the planet's biodiversity means building a piece of citizenship. We are not citizens of this country or of the world unless we understand that the true future of individuals passes around these subjects", Concluded Maurizio Martina.