First in Lazio to obtain Pefc Sustainable Forest Management certification
The Presidential Estate of Castelporziano, one of the three institutional residences of the President of the Italian Republic, was the first in Lazio to obtain the Sustainable Forest Management certification of Pefc Italia (Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes), the organization promoting the certification of good heritage management forest. Castelporziano is also concluding the investigation to receive the Ecosystem Services certification which it guarantees in favor of the community (biodiversity, hospitality, carbon sink).
The more than 6,000 hectares of the estate thus add to the 884,000 hectares of certified surface in 13 regions with the Pefc standard: the certification of sustainable forest management provides the guarantee that forests are managed in line with stringent environmental, social and economic requirements, putting balance between people, planet and profit. An area of great naturalistic value characterized by a high level of biodiversity and recognized as a State Nature Reserve, the presidential estate of Castelporziano is an oasis that preserves delicate forest ecosystems characterized by a considerable variety of flora (about 1,000 species) and fauna (over 3,000 species ).
To protect the delicate balance of natural ecosystems, the Estate has activated a continuous environmental monitoring program for more than twenty years, now also based on innovative investigation tools, aimed at the biotic and abiotic components: pollutants, organic consistency of the soils, the levels of the water table, the characteristics of the groundwater and salinity, the conservation status of the forest heritage, the consistency of the fauna and avifaunal populations, with spring and autumn censuses, also recording the values through the meteorological stations thermo-pluviometric in relation to climate change.
An area of great environmental value, a treasure trove of biodiversity
In 1999 the Presidential Estate of Castelporziano was recognized as a State Nature Reserve, in 2018 it concluded the process of inclusion in the European “Natura 2000” network through the identification of two Zsc areas (Special Conservation Areas) for the ancient dune and for the hygrophilous oak wood, and a Zps (Special Protection Area) for the protection of migratory, sedentary and wintering birds; the Estate welcomes populations of large and small mammals, including the Italic roe deer, which make the hundreds of hectares of woods even more vital (holm oaks, pine forests, high and low Mediterranean scrub and mixed woods), which alternate with clearings and natural grasslands.
Now the estate is also officially recognized by Pefc for its commitment to conserving the forest as a complex habitat, for animals and plants, in maintaining the protective function of forests against water, soil and climate, in protecting the biodiversity of ecosystems forestry, in providing on the one hand silvicultural interventions to care for the forest, respecting the natural growth rate of the forest, and on the other the reforestation or natural regeneration of open areas.
The process for the certification of Ecosystem Services has started with Pefc
The Estate has also started a process together with Pefc to obtain certification according to the additional Pefc standard for Ecosystem Services, launched in September 2021 and first released worldwide in the Pefc “family”. Ecosystem services are the multiple benefits provided by ecosystems to mankind, starting from the ability to absorb CO2, contrasting climate change but also hydrogeological risk.
The standard will allow the presidential estate of Castelporziano to be recognized by a third party body such as Pefc for voluntary actions aimed at storing, absorbing and not emitting CO2, as well as recreational tourist functions related to the reception and protection of biodiversity.
‘A precious capital that requires a care pact’
“The Mediterranean lowland forest of the presidential estate of Castelporziano is a unique environment, rich in biological and cultural diversity, located in the periurban context of Rome – explains Giulia Bonella, director of the Castelporziano presidential estate – This precious common capital requires a pact of care, attentive to the ecological dynamism in place, in any case in a long-term perspective: the protection, enhancement, sharing and managerial sustainability are commitments that must also be respected for the well-being of future generations “.
“In this context – he adds – and in this time that sees the world recognizing the protagonism of healthy forests in the mitigation of climate change, Tenuta di Castelporziano has decided to adhere to global commitments also by obtaining sustainable forest management certification, with specific attention to ecosystem services associated with the protection of biodiversity, eco-compatible use and carbon storage “.
Pefc Italia, ‘certification is a starting point in valorisation’
For Francesco Dellagiacoma, president of Pefc Italia, “the fact that even in Lazio there are certified forests and woods is a very important signal that testifies to a renewed attention to our forest heritage throughout the national territory. Region is an area of great prestige not only from a naturalistic point of view but also from a historical and institutional point of view within a complex and important reality such as the peri-urban area of Rome, which could be an example for forest managers of all other regions “.
“The certification comes after a long process of comparison and study – he continues – and represents not an arrival but a starting point in the enhancement of the biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Castelporziano Estate. Succeed in the certification of forest ecosystem services so that they are preserved now and in the future “.