National Park of Sila, a virtuous example for the production of renewable energy


The “Calabria of innovation and sustainability” is found right in the heart of the National Park of Sila.

This Calabrian park was in fact involved with 4 other European natural parks, in the “BioEuparks” project, with the aim of developing an efficient and sustainable biomass chain.


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We spoke on the phone with the Head of Service Planning for the Park Authority, Domenico Cermak, to learn more.

Can you explain in some detail what the “BioEuparks” project is and what is the role of the Park in this project?

BioEuparks was initiated to create a model of energy production from renewable sources through the creation of a supply chain of biomass coming from the management of the forests by park authorities and the private agricultural remains present in the park areas. The Sila National Park is the only Italian park that has been chosen for this pilot project. The other parks are: the Danube-Ipoly National Park in Hungary; The Kozjansko Regional Park in Slovenia, Rodopi National Park in Greece, and the Sölktäler Natural Park in Austria.

What have you done so far?

The project, in which Legambiente is the leader, has several phases. In the first phase we have informed all local prospective participants, namely the owners of land and forest contractors, about joining, directly or indirectly, the supply chain of local biomass to be used as a heat source.

Subsequently, we have activated the short supply chain in the Park, through the creation of a bidding process for the “Supply of pellet boilers for the production of heat in premises managed by the National Park of Sila.” We then certified the chain, used the biomass boiler to heat buildings in the Park and presented the results in Brussels and Verona to spread best procedure. Finally, we proposed the creation of a GAS (solidarity buying group) so that the companies participating in the project can request the certified pellets in order to use them as a source of supplying small cogeneration plants, with a high reduction in costs.

What are the advantages of using the biomass boilers?

First, a considerable energy savings. Then there are the consequences both environmental and economical, as biomass boilers produce less harmful emissions than fossil fuels and promote the sustainable use of forests, creating OIL- FREE-ZONES (free from oil), and economically because they involve agriculture and forestry, wood processing companies and transportation companies, as well as providing the opportunity to earn higher incomes, or the start of secondary related businesses.

The Sila National Park is a candidate thus to be a positive example in Calabria not only for the enhancement of the area but also for sustainable and responsible development. Are there are other sustainable projects in the pipeline?

The Park is committed to the recovery of the tourist railway in Sila thanks to the small train within park, with which you can journey through this unique and suggestive territory. The project, which is one of the initiatives of the Mese della Mobilità Dolce (Month of Sweet Mobility), (from March 6 to April 6), is the result of collaboration with the l’Associazione Ferrovie in Calabria and the Committee for the Protection of Ferrovia Silana di San Giovanni in Fiore with the organizational support of the Confederazione della Mobilità Dolce.

Another important project is the agreement with the Italian Club of Sila Shepherds (CIPS), an association that deals with the dissemination and use of a native breed of dog, also called an anti-wolf dog. We are committed to the adoption of puppies of this breed that will be provided to the shepherds, to allow them a natural defense against wolf attacks on their flocks and at the same time ensure the protection and conservation of the same wolves of the higher plains of Sila.

This concludes our chat with Dominic Cermak, although there are many other projects to protect the environment taking place in the park. We will be back soon to talk about this area of extraordinary beauty that is moving ever closer to becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To support his candidacy just click on the link: