Sustainability

Rebirth and solidarity. After Vaia storm

The latest report by PEFCTM Italia, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the non-governmental organization that promotes forests sustainable management and the traceability of forest products, summarizes a balance of the project PEFCTM Solidarity Supply Chain / Together We Can – a project ITLAS took part in, the day after the windstorm Vaia.   

 

Between October 28 and 29 2018, storm Vaia hit the Italian Alps, causing vast damages to its forests. From the eastern part of Lombardy to Friuli Venezia Giulia heavy rain and wind gusts reaching over 150 km/h destroyed 42.500 hectares of woodland with more than 9 million cubic metres of timber crashed to the ground. As a rule, from this area comes the 66% of the national work timber and the forests here are for the 60% PEFCTM certified.

Notwithstanding the delays caused in 2020 by the lockdown due to Covid pandemics, almost half the timber has been removed. Nearly the 60%, states the report by PEFC, has been sold and the activities are going on at full speed “thanks also to virtuous projects that aim at supporting the devastated areas and at recovering the timber on the ground, giving It a new life”. The organization points out that not all the felled trees that are still in the forests can be used – because it is in inaccessible or unsafe areas or for the scarce technical features of the timber itself. Besides the fact that as time passes by the trunks have been losing quality due above all to the attack by fungi and xylophagous insects – which causes a drastic reduction of the product’s economic value.

Since its beginning, the project PEFCTM Solidarity Supply Chain / Together We Can had the aim of helping forests owners hit by the storm, trying to reduce the depreciation which would affect the timber, due to the large quantities poured on the market. How did (and does) the Solidarity Supply Chain work? The forest owner should provide a declaration, where he guarantees that the timber comes from felled trees and that the area has a size inferior to 10thousand cubic metres. Then, PEFCTM allows the use of a specific logo on the timber, so as to trace it all along the supply chain. The PEFCTM Solidarity Supply Chain involves the forest owners, the companies working the wood as well as all the organizations that, in a way or another, support the initiative and asks for the logo in order to use it for promotion.

From beginning 2019 up to today many have been the initiatives involving Solidairty Supply Chain – ITLAS and DKZ srl sell wooden flooring that are Solidarity Supply Chain certified, Legnolandia created a line for outdoor furniture dedicated to the storm, HM52, NextWood, Marlegno are going to use wood from the felled trees to make wooden structures and roofs, Enrico Ciresa srl launched a crowdfunding collecting 140.000 € in order to recover the resonance wood of the Paneveggio Forest, with which thousands of pianos, harps and lutherie tools. A great interest has been raised also by the catalogue “Solidarity Christmas” made for Christmas 2019, which displayed several wooden objects and decorations by Leonardi Wood, Legnolanda and Fattoria del Legno, the Treepicker birdhouses, as well as the book for children “The Dolomites after the storm” by Erika Di Marino and the photographic book “REBIRTHS” edited by ArcheoSusegana. Today, two years after Vaia storm, the felled trees in Trentino have become the protagonists of a record. In fact, in Rovereto they are building the largest wooden building in Italy, an actual symbol of rebirth – with its 9 floors and 29 metres high, it is built 100% with the timber of the felled trees, thanks to the work of companies that are PEFCTM certified and that are in the Solidarity Supply Chain, starting from general contractor Ri-Legno. The project includes also another building, of 5 floors, built with structural timber (engineered in panels) for the 90% of the total, coming from felled trees of the Magnificent Community of Fiemme and of the neighbouring municipalities. Project and building site made by Ri-legno Rovereto 28-29 of the Primiero Valley. The two buildings, which will be inaugurated in the next months, will host in their 500 sq.m. of each floor 68 families, in a social housing project that will offer accomodations and housing services at convenient prices, for people considered most in need (the elderly, disabled, migrants) but also for young people, single-parent families, students and precarious workers. Thus, the two buildings in Rovereto become a symbol of rebirth, to be added to the many projects that in these latest years have been carried on by companies, associations, boards and forests managers also thanks to the support by PEFCTM Italia and to the logo Solidarity Supply Chain. Many are the companies and the organizations that have joined and that gave their contribution to make this initiative a solidarity one – they are all mentioned in the website www.filierasolidalepefc.it. In addition to the activities supporting the companies, PEFCTM has been committed with Rete Clima in creating the reforestation project “Ancora Natura” for the most devastated areas (www.ancoranatura.it).

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