IMFN Welcomes 63rd Model Forest – Valle dell’Aterno Model Forest (Italy)

March 08, 2024 | Written BY : IMFN



The International Model Forest Network (IMFN) Secretariat in Ottawa and the regional Secretariat for the Mediterranean Model Forest Network in Tuscany are pleased to share the news of the IMFN’s 63rd Model Forest into our global family.  

At a ceremony in Rome hosted on February 20th, 2024, by national government offices of the General Directorate of Mountain and Forestry Economy’s Alessandra Stefani, all three levels of Italian Government officials were present to accept the Valle dell’Aterno Model Forest into the IMFN.  Canada was represented as co-hosts in-person by our Embassy in Rome with remarks in Italian by Sameena Qureshi (Minister-Counsellor & Senior Trade Commissioner) and attended by Patrizia Giuliotti (Trade Commissioner for Clean technologies, Forestry and wood products, Infrastructure, Market access, Oil and gas).

The Canadian Forest Service was represented by video remarks given by Rich Verbisky, as Head of the IMFN Secretariat which is hosted by Natural Resources Canada’s Trade and International Affairs Division.  The regional Secretariat for the Mediterranean Model Forest Network (MMFN) based out of Tuscany’s regional government in Florence played an essential role in organizing this high-level meeting: a first national event of its kind in Italy, and at the request of the National Government following a similar private initial meeting with Alessandra Stefani during Patrick Wylie’s earlier July’s site assessment and partner meetings in Rome, Tuscany and Abruzzo. Officials were in attendance with local mayors, regional government officials from both Abruzzo and Tuscany, as local stakeholders from Valle dell’Aterno as well as from Italy’s first Model Forest (Montagne Fiorentine – established 2012).

Italy’s most recent IMFN member – Valle dell’Aterno Model Forest – is located two hours drive north-east of Rome, in the Abruzzo Region to the east of L’Aquilla.  Italy’s first IMFN member Montagne Fiorentine Model Forest is located in the region of Tuscany about an hour’s drive to the east of Florence.

The UN FAO was also present at this event following Valle dell’Aterno Model Forest’s successful hosting of fire and forest landscape restoration specialists in 2019.

Italy’s national government interest in Model Forests stems from the challenges and many practical solutions Model Forests have been shown to offer to a sustainable forest sector including labor issues of urban migration from rural communities and equipping the next generation of local leaders with an aging rural population.

We are very proud of the everyday local leadership and partnership we see in Abruzzo, across Italy, the Mediterranean and the IMFN.  We look forward to continuing to build a long and successful relationship with the national Government, the Regione Toscane, the regione Abruzzo – between Canada and Italy – as a strong ally and voice for Mediterranean Model Forests as well as the IMFN as a whole.


More news

Regional/national coverage (in Italian): Il Capoluogo

Local coverage (in Italian):  Foresta Modello Valle dell’Aterno – News

Event (in Italian): Foresta Modello Valle dell’Aterno  – Event



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