Forests in Italy: in 10 years the surface area has increased by 587 thousand hectares

To announce it, after a survey conducted throughout the country, the Carabinieri Forestry and Crea in the National Inventory of Forests and Forest Carbon Sinks, used to measure the contribution of trees in mitigating the effects of climate crisis.

Data on the forest area of our country

Italian forests have increased by 587,000 hectares in 10 years. The forested area in Italy has increased and consequently also the capacity of these ecosystems to absorb carbon dioxide: the data tell us that trees are able to sequester 290 million tons of Co2 more. This is stated by the National Inventory of Forests and Forest Carbon Reservoirs, a sort of “green thermometer” that measures what in some ways can be likened to a “planetary fever”, or rather the rising temperatures caused by the climate crisis. The data were collected thanks to a periodic sample monitoring, conducted by the Carabinieri, with the valuable scientific support of CREA (Council for Research in Agriculture and Analysis of Agricultural Economics).

The sample survey, started in 2013, was completed in early 2020 following precise international research criteria: the volume of tree trunk, branches and top is measured according to universally recognized standards. The current Italian forest area occupies 11 million hectares – equal to 37% of all national soil – with a growth of more than 18%: from 144.9 to 165.4 cubic meters of biomass that translates into almost 201 thousand million more Co2 absorbed. This is a considerable increase compared to the 2005 examinations that bodes well for the future: just think that a single cubic meter of wood can retain 260 kilograms of carbon for a very long time.

The importance of protecting the world’s forests.

Forests perform vital functions and are very valuable, especially for the services they provide to humans and wildlife every day. These services depend on the biodiversity they hold and are called ecosystem services. Forests have long been threatened by a variety of natural disturbances. Today, the frequency, intensity, and duration of wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, frosts, and insect infestations are shifting as a result of human activities and global climate change, making forest ecosystems even more prone to damage. That’s why it’s important and critical to protect all existing forests.