The Italian team organised the last cross-project meeting of the ALTERFOR partners in Padova, a medieval city with stunning atmosphere. The meeting took place on 3-5 April 2019 on the site of the oldest university botanical garden in the world.
Since the project is approaching the last phase of implementation, the case study teams delivered comprehensive result-oriented reports on alternative silvicultural methods and how they can be combined in a landscape. In ALTERFOR the term alternative Forest Management Models, or FMMs, is used. The result a landscape projection shows the provision of forest ecosystem services (ES) over a 100 year period. All analyses are documented in a Synthesis report on new forest management models in a landscape perspective, to which all ALTERFOR case study teams contributed. Prof. Maarten Nieuwenhuis  introduced its core aspects. The report outlines a state-of-the-art European perspective on forest management and the provision ESs throughout Europe.
Another focus area at the meeting concerned the involvement of relevant stakeholders. The development of FMMS meant that different key actor groups discussed and advocated or – quite the opposite – rejected particular management models in the ten case study areas throughout Europe. Involving relevant stakeholders into the research activities at an early stage fosters the uptake of scientific knowledge are core aims in ALTERFOR. Dr. Mirjana Stevanov  presented factors that can be especially relevant to reach these goals, according to the applied RIU model (Research, Integration and Utilisation).
The third engaging topic was assessing ES provision for Europe as a whole. In concrete terms, it means the integration of current and alternative FMMs into a global model showing the impact on the forest sector and ES provision of applying the alternative FMMs in all EU countries. This European level analyses are the next activities in ALTERFOR, coordinated by IIASA in 2019 and early 2020.
It has become a tradition that the ALTERFOR project partners meet local stakeholders and discuss research topics and their relevance to actual practice directly. This format, called TRAVELLAB, was applied once again on this year´s cross project meeting. It included a site excursion and lively roundtable discussion with representatives of the local forest association AFP, FSC Italy, the intermediary service provider AzzeroCO2, the environmental NGO il Nocciolo and a private forest owner.
The ALTERFOR case study area (CSA) for Italy is located in the Eastern part of Veneto (North-Eastern Italy), North-East of Venice. The overall area at large includes eight different municipalities within the Province of
Venice, covering a total area of about 69,000 ha and hosting about 140,300 inhabitants. It includes very fertile and productive farmlands were cereals (corn and maize) and vegetables are grown. The area is close to Venice and other touristic places along the Northern Adriatic Sea, and around 3 million tourists visit it every summer.
Learn more about the case study area from the overview prepared by the Italian team (University of Padova and ETIFOR).
What participants are saying about Travellab in Padova:
"ALTERFOR brings the necessary scientific approach towards the forest management. The Association of Lowland Forests (AFP) has had the opportunity to learn about other models and to transfer the best practises to the Municipalities and to the citizens. Our aim is to move citizenship and academic world closer in a mutual comprehension that brings benefits in forest management."
Stefano Pellizzon, President of the Association of Lowland Forests (AFP)
 WP3 „Landscape Level FMMs“, University College Dublin
 WP4 “Implementation”, University of Göttingen
 WP2 “European Analyses”, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis