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Italy the first country in the world to certify so many benefits from forests

The first FSC-certification of all five ecosystem or natural services was presented in Rome during a press conference hosted by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Food, Forestry and Tourism Policies. This important achievement is the result of cooperation between FSC Italy, Waldplus Group, an FSC-certified forestry company and Etifor, a University of Padua’s spin-off company.

After a test phase conducted in more than eight countries, Italy became the first to obtain the certification of all five environmental services: species conservation, water quantity and quality improvement, an increase of soil nutrients, an increase of carbon stock, and improvement of recreational services. Thanks to a third-party verification system, FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure provides forest managers, governments and investors a new, reliable tool to demonstrate, communicate and enhance natural values.

Waldplus Group forests store 220,229 tons of CO2 and filter 1,256,700 cubic meters of fresh water every year. 7.5 tons of soil are also protected from erosion, and 458 hectares of natural land is now accessible for recreational purposes.

Waldplus Group’s first certification was issued in July 2014 and now counts 33 smallholders involved and 1,000 hectares of forests. Among these forest owners, there are ten public entities represented by Associazione Forestale di Pianura, and Parco Oglio Sud, the first regional park in Italy to obtain the FSC verification for Ecosystem Services.