Waldplus Fulfils Impact Verification for five Ecosystems Services

FSC Italia
FSC Italia
February 26, 2019
Category : General news

Rome, 27/02/2019 – Italy became the first country in the world to receive a Forest Stewardship Council ecosystems services (ES) verification fulfilling all five environmental components that make up these services.

The forestry cooperative, Waldplus, which covers over 1,000 hectares and spans between Trentino Alto-Adige, Veneto and Lombardy regions is the first to have its impacts verified in all five ecosystems services under the framework provided by FSC. This work is a great step forward in the promotion of tools that help forest managers show their impact in forest ecosystems and reap the benefits of such commitment..

This achievement was a result of a partnership between Waldplus and Etifor, a consultancy that provides innovative solutions to measure positive impact.

FSC launched a new Ecosystem Services Procedure in May 2018. It is a new tool for forest owners, businesses and governments to demonstrate and communicate their efforts towards conservation and restoration of forest ecosystems.

A forest can be verified for one, several or all five environmental services stipulated under this procedure, namely: species conservation, water quantity and quality improvement, increase in soil nutrients, increase of carbon stock and improvement of recreational services.

So far, FSC has piloted this programme in nine countries. The first site in the world that was verified for ecosystem services was in Chile - a smallholder of Lajas Blancas. It was verified for one of the five components of the procedure: water quality, reached thanks to their activities of forest cover restoration and fencing of water basin areas.

Beech foliage against a clear sky in a forest of Trentino - Alto Adige region in Italy. The forest is part of the group of small owners who received, for the first time in Italy and all over the world, the FSC verification of all five ecosystem services. © Giulia Grotto / FSC Italia
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Elmar Gruber, the manager of the FSC Waldplus certification group, installs the signage with the FSC logo in a recently certified smallholder forest. "So people know that this area is more than just trees and wood" says Elmar. © Giulia Grotto / FSC Italia
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WWF Italy and FSC Italy staff checking logs and testing the indicators of the new Italian forest management standard during a field trip in one of Waldplus Group's forests. © Giulia Grotto / FSC Italia
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The forests belonging to the Waldplus Group were evaluated according to the following parameters: increase of the carbon stock, conservation of water sources, biodiversity and soil, improvement of tourist-recreational and cultural functions. © Giulia Grotto / FSC Italia