World Tree Day, initiatives in Italy

World Tree Day, initiatives in Italy
World Tree Day, initiatives in Italy

World Tree Day is celebrated on 21 November, with many initiatives also in Italy

On November 21 of each year, the World Tree Day, to honor and enhance the forests and woods of our country and to promote policies to reduce the harmful effects of emissions, to protect the soil and encourage green spaces in our cities.

In Italy in 5 years + 31.7% of forests, more than in other European countries
“The tree is not only a gift of nature, it is also the tool that Nature has made available to us to intervene on climate change, on our health and on the quality of our life – he declares Alessandro Botti, president of Ambiente Mare Italia – For this reason, on the occasion of the national tree day, Ambiente Mare Italia – AMI invites us to reflect on the importance that trees have for the environment that surrounds us and for a better quality of life ”. About 30 per cent of the planet’s land is covered by forests for a total extension of almost 4 billion hectares. Sources Fao warn, however, that every year, on average, woods and forests are lost 5.2 million hectares year and how, in 2019 alone, 26 million hectares were lost. In Italy the situation is greener. From 2015 to 2020, forest cover increased by almost a percentage point, from 30.8 to 31.7%, more than in any other country in Europe and above nations with a traditional woodland vocation such as Germany, 31%, and Switzerland, 31%. Moreover, the forests are a treasure trove of biodiversity, hosting 80% of terrestrial animal and floral species and are necessary to mitigate the greenhouse effect and climate change and counteract the rise in global temperature.

How to fight the fire alarm in Italy
A major threat puts our forests at risk: forest fires that cause a loss of genetic biodiversity, the release and release into the atmosphere of enormous quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. According to data from the European Forest Fire Information System (Effis), published in August, 102,933 hectares of land have been burned in our Peninsula since the beginning of the year, an area as large as 140,000 football fields. The situation, since August, has been worsening due to the continuing fires that have hit the peninsula and in particular southern Italy. “Our country needs widespread and shared policies of urban forestry e periurban“Warns the president of AMI, Alessandro Botti. According to the 2021 Air Quality Report of the European Environment Agency (Aea), in 2019 our country was the first in terms of deaths from nitrogen dioxide, about 10,640 in 2019, and is the second after Germany for the risks from fine particulate matter PM2.5, 49,900 deaths. “Urban and peri-urban forests are the solution for combating nitrogen dioxide pollution and allow for a clear improvement in the quality of life of citizens – he concludes Botti – A coherent and not occasional forestation policy allows an increase in biodiversity within our cities and an increase in the psycho-physical well-being of the inhabitants ”. “Green infrastructures – he declares Ilaria Falconi, Head for Ambiente Mare Italia of the Soil Protection and Organic Agriculture Area – they should be created in such a way as to become natural, structural and functional networks capable of improving the resilience, microclimatic conditions and air quality of the city; to allow the retention and recycling of the water resource; to guarantee mitigation and adaptation to hydrogeological and climatic risk “. Because of this Environment Sea Italy on the occasion of the tree day, it promotes, alongside the planting of new trees, a design of green infrastructures based on the characteristics of the site subject to the intervention, in order to maximize ecosystem services with a view to multifunctionality and benefits for the health of citizens and our planet.

The Legambiente initiative
On this occasion, Legambiente organized 500 events, divided among 15 thousand participants, to plant about 10 thousand trees. There Tree Festival 2021 it is in fact the Legambiente campaign, now in its twenty-sixth edition, which is celebrated on 19, 20 and 21 November throughout Italy thanks to planting events organized by the Legambiente Circles in collaboration with schools, businesses and citizens. A small piece to increase the country’s green lung and a contribution to the more ambitious goal of the European Life Terra project, of which Legambiente is the only Italian partner, which it aims to plant 500 million trees across Europe by 2025. “Show your green side”Is the theme of the Tree Festival 2021, with a significant response from educational establishments of every order and grade at the call of Legambiente to celebrate the Tree Festival: 928 classes, for a total of over 13 thousand students, in over 120 cities will plant new trees in the forecourts of school buildings, gardens and public spaces. In conjunction with the plantings, awareness-raising activities will be held to promote the values ​​of environmental protection and urban reforestation. The plantings will respect the parameters dictated by the European Life Terra project which, in addition to highlighting the importance of trees, emphasizes their protection in the long term. In fact, the new trees planted will be georefenced and monitored during their growth path thanks to a web-app conceived and launched by the Life Terra partnership (project co-financed by the European Commission through the LIFE program and coordinated by the Life Terra foundation).

A social campaign
The Legambiente Tree Festival will also involve the world of social networks, in fact, for those who cannot physically participate in the initiatives, the invitation is to celebrate the trees with a small gesture: plant a seed, a seedling, a flower and let your friends know by taking a selfie and posting it on their social channels with hashtags FestaDellAlbero e VasiComunicanti tagging Legambiente and Life Terra (find out more on Tree Festival 2021, Show your green side). There are also initiatives organized by the young people of Legambiente’s Youth4Planet project, including a practical day of green care and a theatrical workshop on the importance of the tree in Genoa at the courtyard of Casa Gavoglio, and in Turin a special guerrilla gardening initiative in the lawn in via Madonna delle Salette.

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(Source: Dire, Legambiente)

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