Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)


The Italian national institute for environmental protection and research (IstitutoSuperiore per la Protezione e la RicercaAmbientale), ISPRA, is the public research body supervised by the Italian Ministry of the environment (Ministerodell’ambiente e dellatutela del territorio e del mare).

Since January 2017, ISPRA is organised with the “Centro nazionale per le crisi, le emergenzeambientali e ildanno” (National centre for the crisis and the environmental emergencies and the environmental damage). Within this new organisation operates the former ServizioEmergenzeAmbientali in Mare (SEAM), now “Area per le emergenzeambientali in mare” (environmental emergencies at sea area). This unit is devoted, mainly for the Italian Ministry of the environment, to prevention and response activities related to accidental marine pollution providing technical and scientific expertise.


ISPRA has been established in 2008 (Decree 25 June 2008 no. 112 converted into Law no. 133 with amendments on 21 August 2008) and performs, with the inherent financial resources, equipment and personnel, the duties of the following institutions merged into ISPRA:

  • ex-APAT, Italian Environment Protection and Technical Services Agency (article 38 of Legislative Decree no. 300, July 30, 1999, and subsequently amended);
  • ex-INFS, National Institute for Wildlife (Law no. 157 of February 11, 1992, and subsequently amended);
  • ex-ICRAM, Central Institute for Scientific and Technological Research applied to the Sea (Decree no. 496, article 1-bis, December 4, 1993, converted into Law no. 61, Article 1, January 21, 1994, with amendments).


In force of a specific agreement and of legislative and administrative obligations, ISPRA provides the Italian Ministry of the environment with technical and scientific support in case of environmental emergencies at sea and in related matters, e.g. prevention and environmental protection in offshore industrial operations. Furthermore, ISPRA is now part of the national system for the environment protection (Sistema a rete per la protezioneambientale) with the duty of organising and operate similar environmental capacities of response to accidental pollution distributed in all coastal Italian administrative regions within the regional agencies for the protection of the environment (ARPA).

With respect to the Barcelona Convention Prevention and Emergency Protocol, the Italian Ministry of the environment may request the expertise of ISPRA’s dedicated team when remote technical assistance is requested or/and to lead or take part in missions, in particular for providing expert advice on environmental aspects of envisaged response operations.

Role and/or Services

ISPRA’s Area per le emergenzeambientali in mare is in charge of:

  • providing 24/7 specialised personnel to be mobilized within the dedicated task force of the Italian Ministry of the environment in case of environmental emergency at sea to provide technical-scientific advices to the institutional “decision makers“ on operational and technical aspects of pollution response with the aim of minimizing the environmental consequences of an accidental pollution and providing, in case, evidences of the environmental damage;
  • elaborating, mostly on the basis of scientific researches, education material, technical advices, guidelines and publications concerning prevention, containment and mitigation of accidental marine pollution, maritime transport of dangerous goods, potentially polluting shipwrecks, submerged sources of pollutants, environmental damage and environmental restoration;
  • providing requested information and advices on operational and technical aspects of pollution response within the Mediterranean Assistance Unit of REMPEC;
  • providing technical support on pertinent issues to the Italian Ministry of the environment in the working groups and the Italian delegations attending multilateral meetings.


(if applicable):

Coastal oceanographic vessel, Remotely Operated Vehicles, multiparameter probes, sampling and storage devices, SCUBA diving capacities.


  • Memorandum of Understanding Ispra/Rempec MAU:

ISPRA, when activated by MAU, will receive the alert message from the Head of Office of REMPEC sent to the mobile telephone number + 39 329 2986226 followed by a written message to the following e-mail address

The Head of Office of REMPEC will include as many data as available on the accident and on the assistance required;

ISPRA shall acknowledge the receipt of the alert message, through the emergency email address: and REMPEC’s fax number: + 356 21 33 99 51, as soon as received and not later than:

  • one (1) hour after receipt, during the normal working hours;
  • six (6) hours after receipt, when the alert message was sent outside the normal working hours, including non-working days and on public holidays.

When acknowledging receipt, ISPRA shall indicate whether and when the required services can be provided.

After acknowledging the receipt of the alert message ISPRA shall endeavor to immediately establish the direct telephone contact with REMPEC for remote assistance and for deployment onsite with a view to finalizing arrangements for the sending of experts to the Party requesting assistance. ISPRA and REMPEC shall confirm the arrangement by signing a Working order.

  • 24/7 Environmental emergency at sea task force to the Italian Ministry of the Environment:

ISPRA provides technical and scientific assistance, including the urgent dispatching of technical personnel on site, when activated by the Italian Ministry of the environment (Division III of DPNM). The dedicated unit (Area per le emergenzeambientali in mare) has technical capacities and responsibilities concerning also the provision of advice to the Ministry of environment about the possible use of dispersants to fight an oil spill.

The emergency team on duty receives the alert message/phone call on the mobile telephone number +39- 329 2986226 or at ISPRA’s security switchboard H24+39 06 50072883 or +39 06 5018197 or through the emergency email address


  2. Specific convention between ISPRA and the Ministry of the environment covering all incurring expenses.



Centro nazionale per le crisi, le emergenze ambientali e il danno, ISPRA

Via Vitaliano Brancati, 60, 00144 Roma


Telephone:+39 0650071

ISPRA security switchboard H24:+39 06 50072883 or +39 06 5018197