Recently over two hundred forest technicians, professionals, naturalists, biologists, public administration officials, entrepreneurs, forest workers, students and operators of protected areas met in Lazio region, within Sala State Forest (Rieti), for two days of field experience. The activities took place in the Rieti-Lazio marteloscope belonging to the European Integrate Marteloscope Network. Part of the exercises was the recognition of tree microhabitats, the application of the Potential Biodiversity Index (IBP) and the simulation of silvicultural interventions attentive to aspects related to biodiversity.
This initiative was part of training activities carried out by the LIFE GoProFor project – LIFE17 GIE/IT/000561, coordinated by D.R.E.AM. Italia. The project organized both theoretical and practical training courses on the theme of forest management for the conservation of biodiversity within Natura 2000 sites. Starting from good practices experienced within the LIFE Programme, which were analyzed, selected and collected in a European Database, the project team has structured a training path. This training exercise provides participants with solid theoretical foundations on the importance of biodiversity, and on silvicultural techniques, and guides them in practical activities, refining their ability to make informed choices, in line with the objectives of sustainable forest management for the conservation of biodiversity.
A first theoretical part was carried out through online distance learning, followed by a practical part within Sala area, in compliance with the COVID-19 regulations. This area was set up by the LIFE GoProFor project team, in close collaboration with the partner Regione Lazio – Forest Sector.
The project, in addition to the Lazio marteloscope, has set up several other training areas, distributed throughout the country. We have implemented additional marteloscopes in Tuscany, Sardinia, Sicily, Lombardy and Veneto, in order to be able to train participants from all Italian regions. To date, with 3 editions of the online course to its credit, and 13 sessions in the field, over 400 people have been trained, of which 314 have also already completed the practical part obtaining the certificate of “Expert in Forest Management for the Conservation of Biodiversity ” Level 1. This first level, focused on forest management and biodiversity conservation, has allowed a great participation of very different professionals, such as naturalists, biologists, architects, and other stakeholders who often find themselves to operate in forest contexts without having specific training. Furthermore, the chance to be trained together and to collaborate in order to carry out the assigned tasks, was much appreciated, as it allowed for comparison and the exchange of different points of view.
Lazio Region, as a partner of LIFE GoProFor, immediately publicized the initiative and contributed to the creation of the Sala marteloscope (RI), which is the main tool for evaluating the consequences of an intervention in terms of economic enhancement and conservation of biodiversity.
Selva del Lamone Nature Reserve (Farnese – VT) is one of the protected areas of Lazio, characterized by 2000 hectares of Turkey oak forest (Quercus cerris). After having three people of its staff participating and trained in the course, the Reserve decided to invest in the establishment of a marteloscope. This is how the Reserve, with the support and collaboration of the LIFE GoProFor Coordinating beneficiary, D.R.E.AM. Italia, will replicate the training tools and methods. It is also planning to host and train students from nearby universities with forest science courses. The Reserve has also entered into an agreement with the University of Molise, to set up an additional marteloscope in a different silvicultural context and to collaborate in the field of training students.
This text was prepared by Integrate’s Italian correspondents Enrico Pompei and Silvia Ferlazzo. A special thanks goes to Pierluca Gaglioppa, who is responsable for the activities reported in the contribution. Pierluca also made the photos.