Three days of Workshop about education and restoration in Italy with all the Model Forest of the Network

Three days of Workshop about education and restoration in Italy with all the Model Forest of the Network

On March 13th to 15th we had the Edu-Case Workshop in Rincine the headquarter of the Foresta Modello Montagne Fiorentine, organized by the Mediterranean Model Forest Network Secretariat.

Thanks to the funding that came from the International Model Forest Network Climate initiative within Canada's Global Forest Leadership Program (Environment and Natural Resources in Canada), we managed to gather all the Model Forests of our Network in Italy for a three-day workshop about tools for raising awareness on Forest and Landscape Restoration through environmental education and forest pedagogy. Also the Red Latinoamericana de Bosques Modelo join us with Juan Pablo Rodriguez Garavito that brought us some experiences from their network on the other side of the Ocean.


First day


After the welcoming and greetings from the authorities, with Tommaso Cuoretti (Mayor of Londa), Elisabetta Gravano (Tuscany Region), Emanuele Piani - (Union of Municipalities Valdarno Valdisieve) and Toni Ventre (MMFN), the first day starts with a round of presentations from each MF, sharing activities and news with a focus on the Forest Pedagogy and education topics. In order we had updates from the Montagne Fiorentine, Ifrane, Provence, Istria, Tlemcen, Western Macedonia, Albania and Valle dell’Aterno. To close this first part of the Agenda, Juan Pablo Rodriguez Garavito from CATIE, gave us an overview on the many activities of the Latin America and the Caribbean Model Forest Network.

The afternoon started with a presentation by Ana Fornažar from Istria Model Forest who gave an introduction about Forest Pedagogy objectives and methodologies. It was very interesting to know about the recent projects developed by the Croatian team and to discover how the Istria MF work on defining a concept of Forest Pedagogy that grows hand to hand with the principles of the Model Forest Network, taking together landscape, governance, partnership… and education!

To close the day we introduced the first tool: the Joelette, an off-road wheelchair for people with permanent or temporary disabilities with also a practical demonstration and lots of questions and discussion on how this tool could be used and adapted to different needs and territory among our Network.



Second Day


The morning starts with the presentation of the other tools. First Andrea Gennai from the Foreste Casentinesi National Park talks about the wolf howling kit, explaining how they used it inside the park for monitoring reasons, allowing few people to join the researcher without disturbing the wolves with an over-exploitation. Second tool of the day, photo traps: the Carabinieri Biodiversity Department of Vallombrosa show how to use this tool and all the tricks to obtain the best shot for each situation. Then it was the turn of PlantsPlay, orienteering Kit, time lapse camera, digital microscope and digital climate station, trying to focus on the educational use that is possible to do with each of them. 

Then we finally moved to the forest for a workshop by Ana Fornazar & Cristiana Rodrigues - Istria Model Forest. The title was “Explore the forest with your senses - training for forest pedagogy educators” and it involves the members of the MFs on fun activities usually dedicated to children to let them discover the forest environment while playing. 

After lunch we had a key session dedicated to fundings with presentations by Riccardo Castellini (Cesefor) and Valentina Garavaglia (FAO). Both the presentations showed the participants different ways to fund possible network projects between the MFs on the topics we were exploring in those days.

The last part of the day was dedicated to an open discussion around the possible uses of these tools in the actual or future activities of the MFs: which tools fit better with each territory/project? How can we boost our activities with these tools? What results do we expect? All important questions to answer before choosing which tools to provide for each MF, the IMFN funds in fact allow us to finance the purchase of them.


Third day


The last day starts with another outdoor activity. Matteo Mazzoni from Montagne Fiorentine Model Forest guided the group into an orienteering race in the nearby forest. The MF members, divided in teams of two, competed to find all the waypoints in the shortest time, while navigating the territory using a map and a compass. It was the occasion to better understand the potential of one of the tools provided by the project. 

To end the three days’ workshop we had a final round of presentation about Forest and Landscape Restoration activities in the MFs. The first presentation was by the Shouf Model Forest Initiative in Lebanon, followed by the Latin America and the Caribbean Model Forest Network, Ifrane Model Forest and finally Valle dell’Aterno Model Forest. The idea of this session was to discuss together which are the main principles that characterize the MF approach to the FLR projects. More and more our Network is recognized as best practice in the restoration activities and so it fundamental to share how we design and manage this kind of project in the territories and with the communities that belong to the MMFN. 


Discover the Edu-Case Tools


For the Edu-Case Workshop in Rincine we selected and presented a list of tools aimed to increase accessibility, inclusion and digital education in the activities of the Model Forests.

These list foreseen, as an example, the Joëlette (a special wheelchair to ensure accessibility to mountain trails for those with motor disabilities), photo traps, PlantsPlay (sensors that translate electrical changes in plants into sounds), kit for wolf howling or deer roaring, orienteering kit, time Lapse camera, digital microscope and climate station.

For each tool a description card is available for download in English, Italian and French.


Download the presentation showed during the workshop