First Stakeholder Workshop in Italy - How to manage next-door forests to ensure multiple benefits to local communities and society?

, Bibione, Italy

On September 29, 2017, the first Italian stakeholder workshop took place. The Italian team organized it in one of the municipalities hosting the Italian ALTERFOR case study in Bibione, close to Venice. This area is located in the Veneto plain that is mostly devoted to agriculture, highly urbanized and tourism-oriented. Forests remain mostly in form of patches and are very important for recreation. For this reason, the workshop focused on the recreational value of forests, highlighting multiple benefits offered by forest resource to local communities and society at large.

In a plenary session, forest experts demonstrated different approaches to forest management to ensure the provision of ecosystem services with focus on recreation. A lively discussion about trade-offs and synergies between active forest management and the protection of high conservation areas followed.

The event ended with outdoor activities including a guided bike tour in the coastal woodlands and tree planting giving a taste of forest management for the local citizens.

The project team organized the event in close cooperation with the Forest Lowland Association AFP, FSC Italy and energy companies E-ON and AzzeroCO2. The workshop was part of series of events, including the International Day of Forests and the FSC Friday and attracted high media attention. Besides public and private forest owners, the workshop was attended by tourist sector operators, regional and local authorities, representatives of environmental associations, forest experts, researchers and students.

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