“Woods and forests are strategic for the environment, the economy and the preservation of the planet. They are a precious resource that characterises our inland areas, contributing effectively to the fight against climate change”.
This was underlined by Confagricoltura, on the occasion of the International Forest Day, established in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly.
There are about 9 million hectares of forests in Italy, while almost 2 million hectares are made up of shrublands, thickets and scrubland.
More than 65% of these areas, Confagricoltura recalls, are privately owned. A real heritage managed by farmers and foresters with care, to provide renewable resources essential for the development of the bio-economy and services for the benefit of the community.
“This green lung of ours needs to be cared for and innovated: the resources made available by the Next Generation EU,” says the farmers’ organisation, “can represent a great opportunity to be seized for the growth of the sector in terms of Gdp and employment”.
Forested areas are often the distinguishing feature of Italy’s inland areas which, as Confagricoltura has repeatedly argued, can play a fundamental role in post-pandemic recovery, thanks to a new approach to natural resources and agriculture. However, tools are needed to enhance these areas.
Forest roads need to be modernised to allow safe activities, forest practices need to be digitalised, and permits for silvicultural operations need to be harmonised and simplified.
The area of Italian forests is growing steadily, with an increase of 3 million hectares in the last 30 years. Overall, forest areas cover more than 35% of the national territory, with peaks of up to 50% in some regions.