Main theme at the Vesuvius National Park: sustainable woodland management for biodiversity ?>

Main theme at the Vesuvius National Park: sustainable woodland management for biodiversity

Pilote Area: Bosco Molaro and Riserva Tirone

The Interreg “Recoforme” Project has represented and continues to represent an important opportunity for the Vesuvius National Park in that it has made it possible through cooperation with scientific bodies and Institutions to gain further knowledge of and experiment into specific actions in the field of sustainable forest management in the Mediterranean area.

Framework Law 394/91 overcomes the concept of the “museumification” of nature and proposes a new perspective for sustainable environmental governance based on the premise that protected areas are first and foremost territories in which new models of management can be tested in a bid to strike the right balance between local community development and the safeguard of natural resources. Such models only come to fruition when they are based on rigorous research and experimentation that are the foundation of policies for the protection of biodiversity and integration between man and nature.

In particular, through coordinated research and specific actions carried out on the territory, the Recoforme Project has enabled the Park Authority to experiment, share and export sustainable forestry management methods field-tested in the park itself, thereby fully responding to the role expected of protected areas today. In summary, the objective pursued by the Park Authority via the RECOFORME Project is “the identification through research activities, field experimentation and the exchange of experience with its partners of specific forest management actions in keeping with the institutional purpose of the Park Authority and which can be shared throughout the Mediterranean area.”

More precisely, the Park Authority has identified certain actions which it proposed in the Recoforme Project essentially related to:

  • The recovery of degraded forest areas through the identification of eco-compatible methods of intervention using low impact soil bio-engineering techniques.
  • Experimentation into techniques for combating the spread of invasive exotic species (in particular, Robinia pseudoacacia) and identification of specific intervention protocols for the re-establishment of indigenous vegetal associations and ‘natural’ woodland evolution.
  • The study of the impact of a domestic species heading towards extinction, the Neapolitan goat, on the evolution of the undergrowth, and an evaluation of the sustainability of goat grazing and the feasibility of using grazing as a means of fire prevention in certain wooded areas.
    Set-up of an experimental indigenous species maintenance forest nursery having the three-fold purpose of contributing to in situ conservation of certain typical Mediterranean macchia species, autonomous production of vegetal species used in soil bio-engineering work, and providing further opportunity for employment in the Park territory.
  • The four actions described above have been implemented, consolidated and refined through the ongoing exchange of experience between the partners, as provided for in the project methodology.

The project has a duration of three years, however significant experimentation is considered unattainable over such a time span, hence the final objective of the Park Authority is to undertake a processing stage of the knowledge and experience acquired, to further develop the most interesting experiments and to propose new trials leading to a “never-ending” process of similar actions which builds a repository of experience acting as support for the development of a sustainable Mediterranean area forestry management plan.

Past and future activities will thus be monitored in relation to the effectiveness of proposed actions. Work in progress will be reviewed and adjusted as considered appropriate, together with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of individual experiments, in order to identify aspects worthy of further investigation and which collectively converge through synergies with other projects and activities in progress towards the common goal of assuring ecologically sustainable forestry management that is compatible with the development of the people.