Between the 28-31st of October, when half of Italy was threatened by heavy rainfalls, InnoforESt Project celebrated its 2nd General Assembly in Trento, north of Italy. During these days large areas of the eastern Alps were affected by winds that exceeded 200 km per hour and caused serious damages to Italian forests in the north-east. In the Province of Trento the event, called by meteorologists “storm Vaia,” has caused, according to preliminary estimates, the reduction of 2.8 million cubic meters of timber and damage for about 350 million euro and is certainly the most important wind noise that has recently occurred in Italy. Despite the alarming situation, thanks to the valuable support of our Italian partners, Trento University and the Territory, Agriculture, Environment and Forests Department of the Autonomous Province of Trento (PAT), InnoForESt partners could safely hold a fruitful meeting.
After the management of the first emergencies, the Territory, Agriculture, Environment and Forests Department PAT, started an operational phase, in which the role of all the subjects involved was defined, to urgently planning the necessary actions. The most important issues to be dealt were to estimate the damages to the local economy, to assess the dangers to the security of the territory (avalanches, falling rocks, water courses, landslides), and damage to the landscape and the environment; to plan the recovery, restoration and integration of access roads, storage and conservation of wood material; to identify possible forms of help for companies working in the supply chain (equipment, technical assistance, logistics and sales) and finally to start the activities of reconstruction of forest stands destroyed by the event.
From the InnoForESt Project point of view, it was a unique opportunity to gain first hand understanding on how an active forest management in mountainous areas is a vital innovation, which has been developed by our Italian partners, can effectively provide hazard protection during extreme weather events.