Update 3.4.2018: After constructive feedback from our followers, we have added more detailed information on the proposed law.
Italy has a new Forest Law. The Italian government recently approved this new piece of controversial legislation. Many researchers criticise that this new legislative norm paved the road to new and more intensive logging. This means also an additional excavation of biomasses in forests and protected areas. Researchers are concerned that the new Forest Law creates a legal way to damage Italian forests. This can cause a serious damage in the network of Italian protected areas.
The last step to put this new Forest Law into practice is the signature of the Italian President. That is very likely going to happen in the coming days.
Please also read: Exploitation of forest in Europe is alarming
Bad news for Wilderness and WILDForests
There are various opinions on the new Forest Law in Italy. The international scientific society expressed their concern regarding the impact on the Italian natural heritage. On the other hand, the Italian Forestry Association welcomes the law, arguing that new Forest Law is a great step to the protection of forests. They argue that Italy finally has a vision that protects the environment and is looking to the future.
The European Wilderness Society follows this process with concern. Forest is an important part of many protected areas in Italy. The European Wilderness and WILDForest database includes many areas in Italy, which the law will threaten once the government implements it. This concern is very serious, especially since people in the Italian Forestry Association believe that active forest management guarantees the conservation of the forest. Wood that is left in a forest does not have future and self-destructs, so they say. However, as we know dead wood is crucial for a good healthy forest, as many species depend on it.
Formally, Mr Enrico Borghi from the Italian Democratic Party proposed the changes in the Forest Law. As President of the Union of Mountain Municipalities, he discussed the Decree with the Commissions of Agriculture and Environment. A private institution called “Gestione forestale sostenibile e Agricoltura multifunzionale” of the Consiglio Nazionale della Green Economy wrote the content of the law.
The official document with approval of the Italian government of the adaptations to the previous Forest Law.
And the full description of the proposed changes in law 28, July 2016, nr. 154:
Find the online content of the Italian Forest Law here (Italian).