We can finally confirm it: Foreste Casentinesi National Park has proudly and justly been included in the prestigious IUCN (International Union For The Conservation Of Nature) Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, a list drawn up by one of the most important international environmental organizations. Aside from being a respected authority in environmental matters, the IUCN also deals with biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
This is an important recognition given to protected areas that stand out for virtuous, careful and proactive management in the conservation of natural resources and development of sustainable operations.
Luca Santini, president of Foreste Casentinesi National Park:
“The Green list is the highest form of recognition for the National Park, declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017 for the ecological value of this natural environment, the first of its kind in Italy. The IUCN had registered only 49 protected areas in the world out of 200,000 currently present on the Green list. We knew we could do it and this has motivated us to exert extraordinary effort. I would like to thank the employees, organizations, mayors, associations and the citizens for all the hard work that made it possible for our protected area to officially attain the 'Nobel' of nature”.
Green list: the green Nobel speaks Italian
The Green List is “drawn up” to certify and enhance all those protected areas that reach effective levels of management at an international level through a careful verification process. The efforts and initiatives implemented by various Italian institutions, with assistance from the Ministero della Transizione Ecologica (formerly the Ministry of the Environment) and support from Federparchi, have allowed the Foreste Casentinesi National Park and two other important Italian natural parks to make their way into the Green List: we are talking about the Arcipelago Toscano National Park and the Gran Paradiso National Park.
Inclusion in this list depends on the evaluation of 50 indexes divided into 4 areas: good governance, sound design and planning, effective management and positive conservation outcomes. For each of these areas, criteria, objectives and related documentation are defined and verified by a group of Italian experts (EAGL) and the IUCN central commission. For the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, assessment was carried out around November. And that's not all. The final decision also considers the ability of the different institutions to maintain and preserve the area’s naturalistic and cultural values by participating in sustainable development projects that have positive effects for all the actors involved, sharing them with local communities.
Among trees, waterfalls and saints: discover the treasure of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines
Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, Campigna National Park is a priceless natural treasure. Established in 1993 and located on the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines, the park covers an area of over 36,000 hectares, equally distributed between the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. This is a territory that bears little trace of man. Journeying through the park can lead visitors to villages, isolated farmhouses and mills: proof of ancient but not forgotten worlds and cultures. Moreover, protected areas aim to preserve natural, cultural and historical values. And this is particularly true for the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, where bond between man and nature has very ancient origins.
Among the most important sites is the Hermitage of Camaldoli, founded in 1012 by Saint Romuald who chose this small space surrounded by fir and beech trees to withdraw in prayer . Contact with and care for nature were fundamental to his experience and both became part of the Rule of the Camaldolese order. Aside from the Hermitage, we can also mention the famous Sanctuary of La Verna, where Saint Francis went to retreat; the waterfall of Acquacheta, mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy; and Monte Falterona, from which the Arno River springs.
Inclusion in the IUCN Green List is the latest prestigious recognition received by the Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, Campigna National Park: last 7 July 2017, the natural reserve of Sasso Fratino and the ancient beech woods present inside the park were declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.