Protection and enhancement of forestry biodiversity

Measure 15 played a key role in the protection and spreading the use of local forestry genetic resources in the Italian region of Marche. 

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Project summary: 

Implementing regional laws for the protection of forestry biodiversity can often be complicated. The Italian region of Marche had proactively set laws for protecting forestry genetic resources, however, there were many complications in properly implementing them and making stakeholders aware of their value. 
Measure 15 played a key role in supporting a public agency to undertake the genetic research and mapping and specific nursery work required. It also assisted when disseminating information among local municipalities and schools, thus providing the basis for further cooperation between stakeholders.

Project results: 

There were 18 forestry sites and individual ancient trees identified, mapped and used as a source for valuable genetic material; some of which dated from the 17th century.
A total of 12 municipalities in the Marche region have used the plant material so far. The distribution started in late 2019, just a few months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specific plots were created in the three public nurseries to conserve and reproduce this genetic material that includes more than 50 different plant species and a regional archive of seed forests was set up.
Scientific knowledge about genetic ‘hotspots’ has greatly improved and this will help with further actions to conserve forestry biodiversity in the region.