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The Po as it courses through Piedmont

Piedmont eyes turning the Po River banks into a shared forest

Piedmont eyes turning the Po River banks into a shared forest

One tree will be planted for each inhabitant of the participating municipalities

Po is Italy’s longest river, flowing in a general west-east direction with its source in the Alps and its delta emptying out in the Adriatic. It passes through some of the country’s largest cities and most industrialized areas, chief among which is Turin.

The regional government of Piedmont (where Turin is located) has been behind the creation of a long-term project that envisions the creation of a ‘shared’ forest running for 200 kilometres along the banks of the river all the way until the border with Lombardy. The aim is to involve the 53 municipalities in the four regional provinces, whose territories are crossed by the river in a grand-scale environmental regeneration that will counterbalance the past effects of the industrialization overreach.

20 euros give life to a new tree

The Piedmontese Po shared forest will consolidate all the environmental interventions in the area that have taken place over the last 30 years to transform them into a coherent whole. The forest is defined as ‘shared’ because anyone can help to make it a reality by becoming a partner: whether these are institutions or ordinary citizens, farms or private companies and associations.

To plant and maintain a new tree, 20 euros is all that is needed. The funds can go to procuring a new sapling and the 10 m2 of land that will surround it, and which will allow it to grow and be cared for to ensure its rooting. The plan is to eventually have a forest body consisting of at least 1.5 million trees and shrubs – a number that corresponds to the inhabitants in the 53 municipalities.

The Vice President and Councilor for Forests of the Piedmont Region Fabio Carosso gave more details about the initiative during its presentation: “The shared forest is a project that started a couple of years ago, systematizing interventions carried out long ago with public funds and which consists in the planting of trees in publicly owned areas and whose first results are tangible: trees and shrubs, but also new wetlands and equipped green areas, have already covered about 500 hectares of land and constitute a real factory producing oxygen and absorbing greenhouse gases. The primary objective is now to develop the project and make it grow by involving other actors".

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