LIFE VAIA presented at the 2021 Fair and Festival of Forests

As part of the extensive “Forest Fair & Festival 2021” program, the LIFE VAIA project (acronym for Valuing Afforestation of damaged woods with Innovative Agroforestry – Enhancing the afforestation of damaged woods with Innovative Agroforestry) has started. Introduced by Maurizio Malè of Venetian Cluster, LIFE VAIA focuses on the adaptation of forest areas to extreme weather events by implementing innovative agroforestry concepts. The innovative approach is based on “temporary” agroforestry measures (15/20 years) up to the growth of forest trees, and aimed at preserving the ecosystem, protecting biodiversity and developing production chains in particular in the field of beekeeping and small fruits for processing. The main objective of the project is to aim at developing and enhancing sustainable products and services in wooded areas destroyed by natural events, thus increasing the ecological, economic and social resilience of forest ecosystems in order to tackle climate change. The five-year project, with a budget of almost 6 million euros, sees the Rigoni di Asiago company as the leader and among the partners, in addition to Veneto Agriculture, another nine subjects: University of Padua-Department of Territory and Systems Agro-Forestry (TESAF); Edmund Mach Foundation (Tn); Municipality of Asiago; Municipality of Gallio; Association Française d’Agroforesterie (France); World Biodiversity Association (WBA); Longarone Dolomiti Fair; University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and, in fact, Venetian Cluster. France, Spain, Italy (Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige) are the leaders of an operation that can, in a nutshell, reconstruct the forest mantle with plant species and varieties more suited to today’s climate in areas hit by natural disasters. and to the future one. The LIFE VAIA project represents an important opportunity for the Veneto area which sees the fallout of 3.5 million euros, resources that will be aimed at repairing the damage suffered by the VAIA storm at the end of 2018 and being a transferable example in the EU countries European. After the speech by Andrea Rigoni, CEO of Rigoni di Asiago on the private contribution to improve the forest economy through innovative ideas, it was the turn of Giustino Mezzalira, Director of “Research and Agro-Forestry Management” of Veneto Agriculture. “Recovering forests after disasters through new methodologies for future sustainability is our specific duty. We cannot afford to lose a heritage that is part not only of our history but of that of the whole world. LIFE VAIA is a more unique than rare opportunity to confront even outside our borders and find biocompatible and zero-impact solutions to give back to nature what a devastating meteorological event such as Vaia was. The project will also allow us to monitor more precisely the possibility of environmental catastrophes due to climate change with a period of time that can allow us to intervene promptly ». The project will involve all partners until 2026. In the hope that others will be added to protect our forest and woodland heritage.

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