Agordo - WOWnature

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Agordo (BL)

The largest Vaia-affected forest restoration operation funded by a private company, Luxottica, is underway in this area.

Agordo is undoubtedly one of the most striking destinations in the Dolomites, a superb natural setting surrounded by imposing and majestic dolomite peaks ( UNESCO-protected), such as: Pale di San Martino, San Lucano, Dolomiti Bellunesi and Vette Feltrine. At the foot of the Agner mountain range, in the Pale di San Martino mountain group, lies the Col Larion forest. The mountain overlooks the industrial zone of Valcozzena -an area where Luxottica maintains its main production plant- serving an important scenic role and is clearly visible from Agordo’s central square. The Vaia storm, which in 2018 felled about 70% of the tree population, has accelerated the transformation process of the forest.

In fact, before Vaia, the forest area consisted mainly of artificially planted stands of spruce, larch, and in some areas, mountain beech, on a land that was once used for meadows and pastures. The largest Vaia-affected forest restoration operation funded by a private company, Luxottica, is underway in this area, where ownership of the land is divided among more than a hundred small forest owners. The goal is to protect trees that were spared by the storm, support the natural regeneration of wild-growing trees, and plant new trees to increase the biodiversity and resilience of the forest A transparent and participatory project, involving the owners and the municipal administration, is bound to have positive effects on the safety of citiziens: granting protection from hydrogeological risk but also improving the magnificent scenery that is everybody’s heritage and thus must be preserved, protected and handed over in a good state to future generations.

On June 4, in front of Luxottica’s Honorary Chairman Cav. Luigi Francavilla, of Chief Operating Officer Giorgio Striano and of Agordo Mayor Roberto Chissalè, the first tree was planted in the new forest created thanks to Luxottica’s commitment. This is the first of more than 2,000 trees that will be planted and which, together with the 15,000 trees Luxottica is already taking care of, will reforest an area of more than 30 hectares But what will be the real benefits of Luxottica’s forest? In terms of capturing and conserving CO2, the main greenhouse gas, the new forest will generate a benefit of 8,500 tons of CO2 captured and stored in trees, equivalent to the yearly CO2 emissions of 1,700 Italian citizens. The project will also create a circular economy on a local scale, with the use of recovered timber and forest waste. The project provides environmental, economic, and social value to the area, mitigating the impact of the company’s activities on the environment and transforming a traumatic event like Vaia into an opportunity to improve the area in hydrogeological, environmental, and scenic terms.

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