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DETAILS OF PROPOSED ACTIONS

The Project's goals will be pursued through field surveys focussed on the environmental exposure to transgenes and their products. Preliminary actions will be implemented in order to characterize the study areas, with the help of the existing theoretical model prepared by the Italian Ministry of Environment, as well as data from different bibliographical sources. The initial literature survey will be directed to categorize the ecological role of the main species known to be present in the areas. Before starting field surveys, conceivable risk hypotheses will be formulated based on the hypothetical stressors (GM plants) and the biodiversity critical issues identified in the protected areas. A preliminary selection of existing monitoring programs and methodologies (presently covering different environmental stressors) will be part of the preparatory actions. Successively, periodical surveys will be conducted in the different areas for 2 following years in order to collect relevant information enabling to evaluate the efficacy of the monitoring methodology. This phase will also be important in order to fill knowledge gaps that might impair the correct definition of the specific protection goals. In addition, the protection goals and the relevant endpoints set for the specific protected areas, as well as the methodology developed, can be useful to analyze the impact of other possible stressors (not limited to GM plants) and likely constitute a reliable starting point for managing protected areas in similar bio-geographical conditions.

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