San Miniato (Pisa), 7 March 2019 – “To promote a new global agreement in defense of the landscape and find solutions for climate change”: this is the objective outlined by the experts who addressed international journalists at the 15th Greenaccord Forum for the Protection of Nature on the theme “The breath of Earth: the forests”, organized in San Miniato near Pisa in collaboration with the Region of Tuscany. Bettering and integrating all the environmental agreements in one united mission for all nations to start a revolution and put the environmental issues to the center of the political actions.
“Each action we make can possibly generate inequality or, on the contrary, erase it” Salina Abraham, coordinator of the Global Landscape Forum from Eritrea explained, “This is why unalienable rights must be stated, like the right to have land and care for it sustainably or the right to access clean water”. To guarantee these rights we must invest “on the future of the Earth by including the new generations, as they are our last chance. In our network we count more than fifty thousand young activists who have mobilized millions of people all over the world who understand reforestation and know the right trees in the right place” - the Eritrean environmentalist explained – “We do not just plant trees, we plant change and future for our communities, this is how we plant hope”.
Agriculture, biodiversity combined with conservation and prevention work are some of the tasks entrusted to the Carabinieri police force in Italy. As explained by the vice-commander of the Forestry, Environment and Agricultural unit, General Davide De Laurentis, “to address environmental issues today means to cast a light on the lifestyle we conduct, on our consumerism and on our current development models which must be reviewed. We need a Copernican revolution capable of inserting within the calculation of a nation’s progress, the value of the natural capital conserved”. The Carabinieri general explained how in Italy “we represent control and policing to avoid the destruction of biodiversity. We do it by patrolling the territories, by carrying out prevention measures and by investigating environmental crimes detrimental to the natural habitats”. Often, respecting the law is not enough for citizens to understand and own a responsible behavior and this is why, we shall not just repress crimes “but also valorize the positive behaviors and inspire all citizens to change their attitude towards the landscape and the environment”.
Next to the policing activities in defense of the environment carried out by institutions, one must enforce the certification, as a procedure to verify and insure that the forestry products are traced throughout their transformation process. Mauro Masiero, researcher at the department of Land and Forestry studies in the University of Padua explained how this is carried out: “According to the official data, more than 3 million hectares of forests are lost every year. Deforestation is caused by anthropic actions, by bad management of forest patrimony, by natural incidents or by a change in the soil”. This is why “the exploitation of forests for timber is not the only critical issue, even if we know today that the amount of illegally harvested timber in commerce is estimated to be between 15% and 30% of the timber on the market”.
Douglas McGuire, coordinator for the tutelage of the landscape and reforestation for the FAO (U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization) explained that “deforestation is the second cause of climate change after fossil fuels, just think of the 2 billion of CO2 absorbed by trees per year, turning them into carbon deposits”. But climate change is not the only element: “by 2050 – the FAO representative explained – the world population will reach 10 billion and we will have to guarantee 50% more in food, with all the consequences that this entails”. As far as the artificial forests go “we must understand their importance and necessity, even though they do not guarantee the same level of biodiversity. In some areas of the world we could use reforestation to respond to specific emergencies and alleviate the burden on the natural forests”. On the safeguard of the forests and of the landscape, McGuire recalled that “we must reach our objective of regaining 250 million hectares by 2020. It is an ambitious plan, but many countries are working on it earnestly”.