LIFE SMART4Action - Sustainable Monitoring And Reporting To Inform Forest- and Environmental Awareness and Protection

LIFE13 ENV/IT/000813

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Laura CANINI
Tel: +390646656088
Fax: +390642815632
Email: l.canini@corpoforestale.it

Project description:


Updated data and information on forests is needed for different reasons (e.g. to monitor forest health, carbon sequestration, impacts of climate change, provision of environmental services). This data also serves different purposes (e.g. management, conservation, reporting under different obligations) and is required by different target audiences (e.g. decision makers, resource managers, scientists, citizens). National Forest Inventories (NFI) and forest monitoring by large-scale observation networks are recognised as a major source of information on European forests. In Italy, two monitoring networks were set-up to comply with the requirements of previous EU regulations and the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution: a large-scale monitoring network of around 260 plots on a systematic grid, and an intensive monitoring network of 31 selected case studies. These two networks are complementary to the NFI.

Up until 2007, and later, from 2009 – 2011, forest monitoring in Europe was widely supported by ad-hoc EU regulations and projects. Today, this support is no longer available. In Italy, the monitoring networks have an estimated annual cost of around €850 000 and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep the monitoring system operational in its current form. This is unfortunate because the evidence suggests that monitoring will be even more important in the future. To keep the system operational, it is, therefore, necessary to reduce its costs.


LIFE SMART4Action intends to redesign forest monitoring and its information and reporting system in Italy. It will ensure financial sustainability, despite budget restrictions, whilst maintaining high scientific reliability. Specific activities include:

  • Designing a new system to reduce the current annual costs by 30%, and which recognises the importance of national and regional statistics on key variables linked to sustainable forest management and ecosystem services;
  • Improve communication with and data transfer to relevant stakeholders (regional, provincial and local municipalities, national and regional parks, environmental agencies, managers, NGOs, citizens). This will increase awareness about forest related issues, support forest monitoring and consolidate knowledge about key forest variables for different stakeholders;
  • Develop and implement mechanisms to involve local people in plot management and basic monitoring for readily measurable variables.
  • Expected results:

  • The creation of an improved, cost-effective forest monitoring system enabling forest monitoring to continue at national level in a sustainable way;
  • 21 information sheets (one per region and autonomous province) with a summary of the following data: forest resources, the status of tree health and plant biodiversity, deposition of chemicals, tropospheric ozone, and climate variables in forests;
  • 20 - 31 plot information sheets (containing the same information as above) distributed to municipalities, provinces and regions where intensive plots are located;
  • Estimations of the climate, soil, deposition and ground level ozone for all the intensive (20 - 31) and extensive (around 260) monitoring plots over the next 10 - 15 years;
  • Medium-term national trend projections regarding tree health, climate, and deposition and ground level variables for all the intensive (20-31) and extensive (ca. 260) monitoring plots;
  • Maps showing changes in the above mentioned trends; and
  • A practitioner’s manual on the assessment of the tree condition, growth and species diversity.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Forests
Information - Governance - Awareness raising - Information
Information - Governance - Public and Stakeholders participation
Land-use & Planning - Forest management
Risk management - Risk assessment and monitoring


land use planning‚  environmental awareness‚  monitoring system‚  forest management‚  information service‚  information system

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Arma dei Carabinieri – Comando Unità Tutela Forestale, Ambientale e Agroalimentare – CUTFAA
Type of organisation National authority
Description Corpo Forestale dello Stato (CFS) is a technical body working in the field of environmental control, forest monitoring and forest fire prevention. The Ispettorato Generale Divisione 6 (DIV 6) is part of the CFS and has been involved in the monitoring of forest ecosystems within the framework of several European Commission regulations since 1985. CFS-DIV6 created the CONECOFOR programme for implementing relevant regulations and coordinating large-scale and intensive monitoring activities (levels I and II). CFS-DIV6 is also the National Focal Point for the National Forest Inventory.
Partners UNIFI(Università degli Studi di Firenze), Italy CNR(Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche), Italy CRA(Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura), Italy


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/IT/000813
Duration 01-SEP-2014 to 31-MAR -2018
Total budget 2,206,527.00 €
EU contribution 1,099,213.00 €
Project location Piemonte(Italia) Valle d'Aosta(Italia) Liguria(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Umbria(Italia) Marche(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Abruzzo(Italia) Molise(Italia) Puglia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Calabria(Italia) Sicilia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia)


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