The Regional Park Agency, the first and so far the only agency in Italy entirely dedicated to the regional system of natural protected areas, was established in 1993.
Officially, it started operating in 2001, thanks to Regional Law Nr. 1 on 1st February 2008 - which was followed by the Regional Regulatory Act nr. 6 on 23rd April 2008. It was transformed from a public institution dependent on the Region into a real and proper Agency, namely, as stated in the law, into an "administrative unit responsible for the conduct of technical and operational activities of regional interest, which requires special skills, expertise and specific ways of organized work."
According to Art. 54 of the regional statute, ARP has got managerial, organizational, financial and accounting autonomy within the limits of the available resources and according to the regional acts of policy, policy objectives, guidelines and directives and it is subject to the supervisory powers of Regional Governement. The Director position is currently held by Dr. Vito Consoli.
Legislation gives the ARP institutional objectives such as: conducting technical and operational activities of regional interest to ensure the development and proper functioning of the regional system of Natural Protected Areas. In particular:
• the Agency assists management bodies of the natural protected areas in the design and implementation of the programs of compatible development ;
• assist management bodies of the protected natural areas of provincial interest in the management of those under Article. 29 of L.R. 29/1997;
• collaborates with the Regional Department for Natural Protected Areas in the preparation of plans and programmes for the protection of natural areas;
• performs monitoring and control activity on the quality status of habitats and species of flora and fauna of community importance (Natura 2000);
• organizes professional training, upgrading and qualification of the staff of the protected areas;
• under the Regional Board's request, in the case of exercise of substitute powers (Articles 19, 26, and 27 of the LR 29/1997 and subsequent amendments), the Agency shall directly manage natural protected areas of regional interest and draft the area plan and settlement.
The activity of the ARP is defined by a proposal of annual program, according to art 6 of L. R. 1 / 2008.
The annual program is an act of direction of the Regional Board for the administrative and management activities.