Reconnecting rural areas, mountains, plains, and urban areas – rebuilding forests and forests, carefully placing the suitable trees in the right places, and creating ‘natural pathways’ that can re-create the natural beauty of global communities is the Alberitalia Foundation’s commitment. Response to climate change and the increase in atmospheric pollution that is poisoning the Planet.
Cecilia Seppia – Vatican City
It was 10 p.m. On September 24, 2018, the Calci forest in the hills around Pisa began to burn. Burned by the flames, it was a blaze caused by heat, humidity, and strong winds blowing from 20 miles [30 km] an hour, destroying more than 1,200 acres [1,200 ha] of land and causing displacement of people living in neighboring cities, especially Montemagno. More than 700 people, including children rescued by firefighters. They hid in gymnasiums and schools, hoping the fire had not consumed their homes. Many older women were hospitalized with shortness of breath because they were lying in bed when the flames hit the sky. It took about four days to put out the fire completely. The wound of many people and the significant damage to the vegetation and wildlife of this area: old pine trees with sturdy stems fall like flies, a ‘spectacle’ of cruelty that no one would want to see.
The province of Tuscany was soon allocated 200,000 euros for restoring and removing tropical trees: the tasks necessary to rebuild the hydrogeological framework and prevent water from flooding during the first rains. Nearly four years after the event, Alberitalia, now funded by Banca Etica and the Forest Community, has launched a project to rehabilitate degraded forest: in an experimental area of just over an acre, coconut and holm oak, disease-resistant species. Fire will be planted instead of pine, and experts and forestry doctors will design the spaces to protect the forest from future fires.
A tree for all Italians
Since its inception in 2019 during a conference at the Accademia dei Georgofili in Florence, the Alberitalia Foundation has presented many such programs, in response to a request from Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, and Bishop Domenico Pompili of Rieti, on behalf of Laudato si. ‘Communities, a remarkable dream at the time that began to form in the following months, received unexpected support: planting a tree for all Italians to combat the climate problem. “As you can easily guess, there are many things that affect forests and individual trees,” said Gabriele Locatelli, Foundation consultant, and former Slow Food Italy Sustainable Forests Manager. “Trees play essential functions such as absorbing CO2 into the atmosphere and releasing oxygen. But they are also critical in conserving the environment, immovable fortresses to combat landscape disturbances, and the overall life structure on our Planet. We aim to make everyone understand how our lives are connected to those of the trees, the first natural agents of that transformation, called by Pope Laudato si.”