The context of the project
In Italy, monocultures of poplars or Douglas-fir are tending to replace the original forests. They degrade the soil and do not allow biodiversity to develop. The challenge of diversifying forest species is therefore crucial in order to restore health and biodiversity to these forests, which are also affected by natural hazards, such as the Vaia storm in 2018.
Our actions in the field
Reforest'Action acts through several reforestation projects in Italy.
Reforest'Action is working to restore the original diversity of the Pomino forest, located 30 kilometres from Florence. Entirely replanted with softwoods after the Second World War, this forest is currently in transition, thanks to a new management that privileges multifunctionality over the sole exploitation of its wood resources. By supporting the natural regeneration of a multitude of species over three-quarters of its surface area, and by planting Douglas firs in addition, our technical partner Sylva Nova is promoting the return of plant and animal biodiversity. The project is also conducive to the reintegration of the wolf, which is now making a comeback in the Pomino forest.
The 900-hectare forest massif involved in our project in Prato was previously populated by a single variety of trees: Douglas fir. As in agriculture, this management method is risky for several reasons: soil impoverishment, loss of biodiversity and increased risk of disease or insect attacks. Monospecific stands are also more sensitive to adverse environmental conditions such as storms or drought. Reforest'Action is partnering with Sylva Nova to revitalize and diversify this stand, enriching it with cedar and pine and promoting the natural colonization of deciduous species such as oak or chestnut. This tree-planting project will make it possible to recreate a true forest ecosystem. The establishment of diverse and mixed species will allow the reception of increased biodiversity while eventually creating carbon-storing timber. The diversity of tree species will make the massif more resilient in the face of increasing climatic hazards.
In Carano-Trodena, Northern Italy, Reforest'Action is partnering with the University of Padua to restore a forest affected by the Vaia storm of October 2018. This climatic hazard devastated a total area of 42,000 hectares of forest in the region. Through reforestation, the region's landscapes will return to their original natural appearance more quickly. Reforestation activities are carried out in accordance with the FSC standard, taking into account local and regional stakeholders. The project is led by local communities involved in both the timber and reforestation sectors.
In Langosco-Vigevano, in Lombardy, Reforest'Action has joined forces with the University of Padua to create a real forest ecosystem while restoring the ripisylve (vegetation bordering aquatic environments) and leaving open environments favourable to flora. The establishment of various mixed and low-density species will provide biodiversity with a rich environment, but also more resistant, particularly in the face of increasing climatic hazards. The quality of the landscape will also improve with the introduction of several plant strata. The planted trees will also help to produce timber, which will sustainably store carbon.
The benefits of the projects
- CO2 storage and air pollution control
- Restoration of forests affected by climatic hazards
- Adaptation of forests to drought peaks
- Soil erosion control
- Preservation of biodiversity