Welcome to the second official Model Forest of Italy!

Welcome to the second official Model Forest of Italy!

The meeting 'Italy's Model Forests - a network of people for the development of territories', organized by the Mediterranean Forests Network at the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forests in cooperation with the General Directorate for Mountain Economy and Forests (DIFOR), was held in Rome on 20 February to welcome the second Italian Model Forest, that of the Aterno Valley, into the International and Mediterranean Network.

Due to the great participation of Model Forest members, institutions and stakeholders, the event was also the occasion to discuss the role of forests and their management in the context of the climate crisis and the regeneration of inland areas.

The meeting, broadcast live via streaming, was chaired by Alessandra Stefani, Director of DIFOR and was attended by representatives of the Canadian Embassy in Italy, the General Secretary of the IMFN Richard Verbisky, from Ottawa, the Secretary of MMFN, Toni Ventre,  representatives of the Forestry Sector of the Tuscany Region, which from 2019 managed the Secretariat of the Mediterranean Network, the Abruzzo Region, and representatives of the two Italian Model Forests, the newly recognised Valle dell’Aterno and the Montagne Fiorentine (officially recognized since 2012). To complete the list of speakers, university experts in the sector, local administrators and representatives of the protected areas falling within the two Model Forests.


The morning was an opportunity to discuss the issues, challenges and risks that rural and forest territories are facing in the urgency of the climate crisis and ongoing depopulation, with the lack of management and valorisation of the forest. The discussion highlighted how the Model Forest approach, with its adopted principles of sustainability, partnership and landscape, represents a very useful tool for communities to reverse the negative economic and social trends while safeguarding and enhancing the great environmental heritage of these areas.

10 of the more than 60 active Model Forests officially recognized in the world, are located in the Mediterranean area and other initiatives are being launched in Italy and the Mediterranean. "This initiative held at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests on February 2024 marks an important moment in the international, national, interregional and local dialogue on the issue of forests and the wellbeing of the communities that host them," said Alessandra Stefani in her conclusions to the meeting, a further reason of hope for a better future of the rural communities of the Mediterranean.


Below is the video message sent by Richard Verbisky from the Secretary of IMFN and streamed during the event.