The AFP is the first Italian association of lowland forest owners, created for the efficient, responsible and sustainable management of lowland forest resources
AFP aims to organize member properties through forest planning; facilitate Members in accessing funds, investments and contributions; increase the market outlook for forest products and services; develop the wood-wood supply chain of production-oriented forests; enhance the tourist-recreational use, teaching and the ecological function of the forest; promote and disseminate knowledge of lowland forests.
Since 2003 the forests managed by the Association have been managed according to a Forest Management Plan that regulates their environmental and forestry planning, in achieving the tourist-recreational purpose to which the properties of the Associates have been devoted.
AFP benefited of public funds and resources from private investors. Among the private investors, AFP counts on funds through ecosystem services sale from around 56 private companies.
The Association has also benefited from the funds provided by the Forest Stewardship Council® (Smallholder Funds).
Evidence of success
Nowadays the AFP includes 19 public and private members, covering 2.000 hectares of forest in four regions: Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Lombardy. AFP benefits from the technical and administrative secretariat of VeGAL. ETIFOR srl provides the technical forestry assistance.
Among the activities, “WOWNature” targets privates or companies for i) tree planting, ii) CO2 compensation iii) water compensation.
The Association is taking care of very diversified forests: from urban forest to productive poplar plantation till seaside protective forests. Answering the needs of these diversified ecosystem is a never ending effort.
Potential for learning or transfer
The association was born from the coalition of private companies and public administrations to support multiple benefits from forests towards CO2 reduction and compensation. AFP have made possible for those benefits to circulate among multiple private and public beneficiaries by innovative approaches of FSC certification, carbon credits, and ecosystem services payments. Innovative communication campaigns and management approaches with the support of scientists have brought the AFP initiative to expand to other forestry resources outside Italy.