Between 24 and 28 October two delegations from Morocco and Lebanon were hosted in Tuscany (Italy), for the exchange of good practices related to forest restoration and sustainable management of the territory thanks to two important projects dedicated to forests. Both delegations had the opportunity to visit some realities in the area, speak with the Director of the National Park of Foreste Casentinesi, with officials of the Tuscany Region and Ente Terre, with the staff of the Unions of the Municipalities of Pratomagno and Casentino, with the staff of the Arma dei Carabinieri (Vallombrosa Biodiversity Department) and meet many members of the Montagne Fiorentine Model Forest who had the opportunity to share their experiences and their activities within the Association.
THE EXCHANGE PROGRAM IN SHORT
24 October 2022
At the headquarters of the Union of Municipalities of Pratomagno, the LIFE Granatha was presented, a project based on socio-economic activities related to the cultivation of the Pratomagno heaths, useful for integrating the mountain economy, nature conservation and fire prevention. In the afternoon, the delegation moved to the Sanctuary of La Verna, where a visit was made to a forest restoration intervention area, following a windstorm that occurred in (2015), with the use of Abies alba grafted.
25 October 2022
A presentation of the activities of the Tuscany Region and DREAM Italia was made at the "La Pineta", a Regional Training Center for Forest Fire Prevention. The delegation then moved to a visit to some demonstration sites of prescribed fire and other preventive measures, and then moved to the site of the fire that took place in Calci (Monte Pisano - Pisa, Italy) in 2018, where some works of forest restoration are currently underway.
26 October 2022
The delegation and organizers met at the Foreste Casentinesi National Park Reception Center and then went to visit the Cafaggio company district heating plant. In the afternoon, a visit to the farm and the fruit chestnut groves was carried out at the Castagno d'Andrea farm, during which the role of the PAFR (Regional Agricultural Forest Heritage of the Tuscany Region) was also discussed.
27 October 2022
This day was dedicated to the presentation of the Montagne Fiorentine Model Forest Association, its Thematic Commissions (Environment and society, Tourism, Production chains, International relations), and some projects and activities that the Association has successfully carried out, including "Wood Mark". It was also an opportunity to present the activities of the Forestry Vocational Training Center of Rincine (Londa, Florence) and to talk about the synergy in the various sectors (EU projects, tourism, management plan, etc.) between the Foreste Casentinesi National Park and the Model Forest. Finally, there was a visit to the "Forest of Wonders", a forest path dedicated to environmental education that was recently inaugurated by the Valdarno and Valdisieve Municipalities Union, during the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the International Model Forest Network.
28 October 2022
For the last day of exchange, it was full of presentations of activities related to the territory of the Montagne Fiorentine Model Forest Assocation. The first stop was at the Palaie Legnami company for a demonstration of the classification of structural wood with a CNR-IBE portable machine. Following was a visit to the Show-wood, the headquarters of the Montagne Fiorentine Model Forest and an example of the enhancement of local wood. The group then moved to visit the biomass plant in Pomino (Rufina) to talk about the supply chain of wood chips from the Frescobaldi company. The day ended at the Vallombrosa arboretum, managed by the Arma dei Carabinieri (Vallombrosa Biodiversity Department) which, in addition to the visit of the arboretum, accompanied the delegation to visit some areas affected by the wind crashes of 2015, highlighting the subsequent actions of restoration put in place.
THE PROJECTS THANKS TO WHICH THE EXCHANGE DAYS WERE BORN
The first project that allowed the organization of these days is "L'Accord de Paris en action: intensifier la restauration des forêts et des paysages pour mettre en œuvre des contributions déterminées au niveau national" funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), and the FAO. The project concerns the implementation of the Paris agreements through the implementation of activities related to forest restoration and sees among the partners some Moroccan realities such as the Ifrane Model Forest, the Talassemtane National Park, and the AREBICA association which has undertaken the last year the path to obtain the nomination for Model Forest.
The second project that contributed to the exchange is “ASMed from the Apennines to the Shouf, migration of experiences and knowledge across the Mediterranean” funded by AICS (Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development). A great collaboration project between the Municipality of Fontecchio and the Shouf Biosphere Reserve in Lebanon. Through study visits, training programs and technical accompaniment, the aim is to promote some successful models in land management already tested in Abruzzo and other Italian Regions, one of these successful experiences is related to the Media Valle dell'Aterno Model Forest Candidate.
The days were organized by the Secretariat of the Mediterranean Model Foret Network (managed by the Tuscany Region since 2019), by the Union of Valdarno and Valdisieve Municipalities and by the Montagne Fiorentine Model Forest Association.