Launched in 2015, in a partnership with AIAB, a local non-profit, the project with the municipalities of the Muzzana del Turgnano City area to the Marano Lagoon as well as 26 local farmers in the Torano Castello, Bisignano and Santa Sofia D’Epiro areas.
In the Fruili Venezia Giuli region, the project aims to:
- Expand existing woodlands in order to restore an ecological corridor and support the conservation of indigenous flora and fauna,
- Create social value by encouraging volunteering and by improving the integration of refugees in the local community.
In Calabria, the project aims to:
- Contributing to the protection and dissemination of native trees and shrubs,
- Assist local production of chestnut and Juniperus wood and fruits,
- Increase the forest area and build awareness about the safeguarding of entire biodiversity,
- Promote sustainable agricultural practices.
Italy is one of the leading countries in terms of organic farming surfaces in Europe. Associazione Italiana Agricoltura Biologica (AIAB), a non-governmental organization, advocates for organic farming in Italy.
In 2015, AIAB met PUR Projet, which resulted in the launch of two projects. One located in the Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) region and one in the Calabria region.
In FVG, the first 2 planting waves were focused on restoring ecological corridors on public land. Starting in 2020, trees will be planted with local farmers to rebuild ecological infrastructure in and between organic farms. In the Calabria region, the first wave in 2016 consisted of supporting local organic farmers in diversifying their production with small and diverse tree plantations.
As part of two regional projects (North and South) of AIAB the benefits intended are to:
- Rebuild parts of the ecological infrastructure of the rural areas by planting native trees and shrubs species in organic farms and between organic farms in Friuli Venezia Giulia region, which is located in the North East of Italy. The southern part of the region is characterized by intensively farmed areas; this has caused the loss of forested areas and biodiversity. In this context, the creation of ecological infrastructure can be recognized as an effective tool to both increase biodiversity, to reforest areas, and to provide ecosystemic services to the farms.
- Reforesting the rural area of Calabria. The project is located in the area North of Cosenza. The economy of the district is stagnant, with a low employment rate. The agricultural sector still employs a significant portion of the population, is mostly small to medium scale and is concentrated on olive oil production. AIAB and PUR Projet together developed a tree-planting project in the region with the objective of supporting the local economy whilst restoring the natural landscape.
LocationFriuli Venezia Giulia and Calabria regions, Italy
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerAssociazione Italiana per l'Agricoltura Biologica (AIAB)
Participants26 Organic farmers in Calabria and municipalities of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region
Achievements17,067 trees planted & 24 Hectares restored
supply chainFruits and Vegetables
The Associazione Italiana per l’Agricoltura Biologica (AIAB) is a non-profit association created in 1988 in Turin. Well-known national network promoting organic farming in Italy, it gathers farmers, practitioners, experts, researchers, and consumers. It is composed of 18 regional offices coordinated by the national office in Rome, the plantations are coordinated locally by the specific AIAB regional offices. AIAB is one of the biggest agricultural education and training providers in Italy, also involved in organic certification, research and communication campaigns. AIAB created the label “Garanzia AIAB” with a specific standard for Italian Organic Farming and has a farms networks called “Bioagriturismi AIAB” and a National Network of Organic School Farm.
A selection of species is made based on farmers’ interest, appropriate micro-climatic conditions and their value for biodiversity preservation. The seedlings are between 12 and 24 months old, depending on the single specie. Oak, figs, almonds and eucalyptus are some of the planted species.
- Common oak (Quercus robur)
- Narrow-leafed ash (Fraxinus angustifolia)
- Field maple (Acer campestre)
- Hackberry (Prunus padus)
- Wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis)
- Common alder (Alnus glutinosa)
- European spindle (Euonymus europaeus)
- Common hazel (Corylus avellane)
- Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
- Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas)
- Alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus)
- Guelder-rose (Viburum opulus)
- Almond tree (Prunus dulcis)
- Olive tree (Olea europaea)
- Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
- Chestnut (Castanea sativa)
- Juniperus (Juniperus phoenica)
17 small-scale and medium-scale farmers were identified to take part in the project in 2015, they are from the Torano Castello, Bisignano and Santa Sofia d’Epiro regions. Their average agriculture area is around 3 000 m2 (largest size: 10 000 m2, smallest size: 400m2). Today, we are working and supporting 26 organic farmers.