There was talk of the forest, bio-economy and migration during the EFIMED Week 2016, which this year took place in Calabria from November 7th to 9th, at the Popilia Country Resort in Maierato (Vibo Valenzia). For the organizers it was a great success, given the number registered and the attendance, “We can be satisfied – commented Giorgio Matteucci, director of the Institute for Agriculture and Forest Systems of the Mediterranean – both for participation and the quality of discussion. 80 participants from Mediterranean and Central European countries, with a strong presence of young Calabrians studying themes on forestry and lumber, a beautiful thing for Calabria.”
The event was organized by the European Forest Institute (EFI), in collaboration with CNR, CNR-ISAFOM, the University of Tuscia, the Mediterranean Network of Forest Models and Alforlab projects (public-private laboratory) and BEWATER , which promotes dialogue between science and society for sustainable water management. EFIMED is the Mediterranean Regional Office of the Forestry Institute which is based in Barcelona. Over three days they discussed with industry experts, academics, students, representatives of ministry offices and local institutions, issues such as innovative forest management and the impact of migration on our societies and our economies. They have shared experiences regarding innovation and integration in Europe and the Mediterranean, from Spain to Tunisia, from Austria to Greece, from Romania to Italy.
For our country, a PON project was presented in the first session, relating to the energy- environment-forests-woods sector, public-private laboratory – called Alforlab: “The sustainable management of land and forests – in the opinion of Professor Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza of the University of Tuscia – can lead to social integration. We must focus on the vocation and tradition of the territory, the forestry production, innovating, enhancing communication and certification to promote the use of lumber for local development. Collaboration and collaborative effort between the Mediterranean countries – he concludes – can provide opportunities for development and integration, and also address the issue of migrants. The Alforlab laboratory can be a catalyst for bio-forestry in Calabria. “
Significant, in regard to the issue of migrants, the testimony of the Mayor of Riace, Mimmo Lucano, who explained how it is beneficial for the internal areas to invest in the reception of immigrants, to cope with the depopulation of the small villages. A concept also touted by Grammenos Mastrojeni, of the Italian Foreign Ministry, who added: “Helping migrants here not solely used for revitalizing our villages. If they manage to integrate into our production system, their return will be three times greater than the volume of cooperation. It is easy to agree with this effective way in the medium term of containment of the mass influx into our country. “In conclusion it was reiterated the importance of forestry for the prosperity and health of the nation, but above all for the economic and social sphere. The event also spoke of the new social uses and educational functions of forests and how nature should be seen as an opportunity for the empowerment of individuals and society as whole.