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On 19 December 2022, the Maiella National Park and WWF Italy awarded the Bear Friendly label to 20 companies during an event held at the Park’s headquarters in Sulmona. These are 14 beekeepers and 6 farmers that have been awarded for their daily commitment in carrying out actions that help protect the Apennine brown bear: the beekeepers, through the use of electrified fences, protect themselves from damage by preventing onset of human-bear conflict; farmers, through the use of certified organic production methods or other methods with low impact on the ecosystem, help to protect the bear’s habitat. Moreover, through the breeding of the native bee Apis mellifera ligustica and through the cultivation of ancient varieties, beekeepers and farmers help to protect biodiversity and therefore the ecosystem where the bears live.
The President of the Abruzzo Regional Council, the President of the Maiella National Park, the President of WWF Italy and the Park technicians took part in the ceremony and illustrated the process that led to the drafting of the specification and the granting of the label through the preliminary activities carried out under Action A3 and the seminars with potential beneficiaries carried out under Action C10 of the LIFE ARCPROM project. The beneficiaries of the label were given a “Bear Friendly kit” with the material to ber displayed in their store (a roll-up, a plate, a window sticker), a Bear Friendly cap and T-shirt, the graphic package with the logo and some labels stickers to apply on the Bear Friendly products.