ForBioEnergy - Forest Bioenergy in the Protected Mediterranean Areas
- Authors: Pizzuto Antinoro, M.; Miserendino, F.; Cobello, L.; Karniadaki, D.; Rubino, C.; Simonetti, C.; Badalamenti, E.; Baiamonte, G.; Castrignanò, P.; Contrino, P.; David, V.; Ferraro, M.; La Placa, G.; Li Puma, V.; Marrone, F.; Sferlazza, S.; Tinervia, S.; LA MELA VECA, D.
- Publication year: 2018
- Type: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
- OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/330929
ForBioEnergy project, funded in 2016 within the INTERREG MED Programme 2014 – 2020, involves a Lead Partner (Regional Department for the Rural and Territorial Development, Sicily Region), 8 project partners from 4 Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, Slovenia and Croatia) and 4 Associate Partners from Italy (Ente Parco delle Madonie, AIEL) and Croatia. The other Italian partners are Enviland s.r.l. and the municipality of Petralia Sottana. ForBioEnergy is an innovative project which bets on the chance to favour the sustainable development of the rural areas through the exploitation of the forest biomass for the production of bioenergy. In Mediterranean contexts, however, most of the forests are within protected areas, where the current regulatory restrictions as well as the lack of appropriate management plans impede and slow down the possibility to exploit woody biomass. The main objective of the project is fostering the bio-energy production in the protected areas, providing trans-national solutions for reducing barriers that currently hinder the development of the biomass sector, and planning models in order to exploit the full potential of woody biomass, whereas preserving the forest biodiversity. To achieve these goals the project include: (i) an Action Plan for shaping new regulatory framework and permit route aimed at removing the administrative, technical and socio-economic barriers that hinder the use of biomass; (ii) a multi-level planning process; (iii) a set of sustainability requirements and quality standards of forest biomass. During the project activities, the most significant gaps and the best practices will be identified through a trans-national process where key actors and stakeholders who deal with bioenergy and biodiversity issues are involved. Common challenges will be addressed through a participatory and shared process involving institutions, as well as social and productive organization at regional and local level. This objective will be pursued through the establishment of a permanent technical panel in each involved country with the aim of encouraging the exchange of knowledge and information between private and public key actors that operate in the bioenergy field. The project provides a three-level approach to the planning process for the use of forest biomass: 1) sub-regional, useful for the connections with the large scale energy planning; 2) local, useful for the development of best practices for sustainable forest management; 3) operating, useful for planning and management of forest-wood-energy supply chain. The results achieved by the project up to now are: 1) Methodologies and tools for drawing up Forest Biomass Plans aimed at the bioenergy production in the protected areas. A Decision Support Systems (DSS) has been elaborated and tested in order to guide the competent public authorities in the choice of the best solutions to increase the sustainable production of biomass in accordance with the sustainability objectives established for protected areas. GIS applications have been used for implementing the planning activities and for identifying the “Biomass Districts”; 2) Methodology for evaluating threats and benefits deriving from biomass harvesting and extraction. For this purpose, a set of specific indicators has been defined to evaluate the positive and negative impacts that the forestry interventions could have on the biotic, abiotic, and socio-economic components, in the short, medium and long period. Other activities in progress are: (i) drafting of a Action Plan to support the Public Authorities in the mitigation of the administrative and technical barriers that slow down the biomass use in the protected areas; (ii) drafting of a forest management plan at biomass district scale; (iii) definition of criteria for planning sustainable forest-wood-energy supply chains for the production of forest biomass in the protected area