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New woods in Tuscany and Lombardy

the promotion of responsible forest management in Italy and in the world of FSC

The range of realities that focus on enhancing the ecological services rendered by the woods through the procedure promoted by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), NGO
international that deals with promoting responsible forest management in Italy and in the world. Forests, in fact, make a fundamental contribution to our Planet: water, carbon storage, conservation of biodiversity, soil and the possibility of using tourist-recreational services, as well as food and shelter and other functions on which they directly depend. or indirectly, about 6 billion people in the world.

The Regional Agency for Agriculture and Forestry Services of the Lombardy Region (Ersaf) and the Union of Municipalities Valdarnoe Va Idi Sieve (Florence) are the latest companies to have joined the procedure, launched by FSC in 2018, which rewards certified forest managers, identifying the benefits of environmentally friendly, socially useful and economically sustainable management, allowing the quantification and communication of these benefits. Both checks were carried out with the technical support of Eti-for, a spin-off of the University of Padua which offers consultancy for the enhancement of nature’s services and products. In Lombardy 20 forest areas are involved for a total of 16,594 hectares managed by Ersaf. The Regional Agency for Agriculture and Forestry Services obtained FSC certification in 2009 as a specific commitment envisaged in the Lombardy Forest Charter; this approach has led today to the verification of two ecosystem services offered by certified forests: carbon storage and protection of water sources. It was therefore possible to calculate that the Ersaf forests have so far absorbed over three million tons of carbon dioxide, equal to the average annual emissions of over 184 thousand cars, while the correct management of the water resource has generated a plan for the conservation of 30 springs for potable use.


In Tuscany, on the other hand, the Rincine forest complex has obtained the certification of ecological services

Belonging to the Region and managed by the Union of Municipalities Valdarno and Valdisieve (Florence): ì 448 hectares of woods where, on the one hand, the defense of the soil and hydrogeological structure, the environment, the landscape and resources of particular interest are promoted naturalistic, cultural and historical, and on the other, actions are put in place to protect biodiversity and the protection of flora and fauna. The work of the Union also aims at the economic and social promotion of the use of the forest, favoring recreational-cultural activities, together with the development of wood processing activities and enhancement of non-woody and secondary forest products.

The forest complex falls within the “Model Forest of the Florentine Mountains”, the first and for now the only Italian reality accredited by an international network that aims to improve the integration and sustainability of forest and land management. Here the
since 1922 tons of carbon dioxide absorbed every year are over 650 thousand and the community can benefit from parking areas and lay-bys, which also host events and activities, in an area corresponding to approximately 2,400 football fields.
«The verification of ecosystem services – says the Director of Ersaf – represents the recognition of a commitment for which we have spent years. In the future it will certainly be extended to other aspects as well. Certification is an important tool to increase citizens’ awareness of the value of forests, and a possibility to attract resources for the maintenance and improvement of the benefits offered to the whole society ».
“We are convinced that the certification of ecosystem services represents an effective tool to make all citizens understand the multiplicity of functions performed by forests, and a way to demonstrate how active forest management can enhance these functions for the benefit of the whole community, local and global ”explains Toni Ventre, manager of the management, defense and use of the territory of the Union of Municipalities Valdarno and Valdisieve.
Thanks to the FSC procedure, Italy was the first nation in the world to certify, in February 2019, the five main natural services offered by woods and forests: conservation of biodiversity; improvement of water quality and quantity; soil conservation; increased carbon storage and sequestration; improvement of tourist-re-creative services. The first certified forests are those of some small owners of lowland forest areas united in the Waldplus group. A few months later, the verification of the poplar groves of a company between Mantua and Parma.

Dott. Pietro Ferrari

Il Legno Web & Magazine – 360 – aprile 2020 – year 99 since 1922