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mercoledì, Maggio 22, 2024

UNESCO: two Italian Beech Forests Added to World Heritage

FUZHOU, 29 JULY – From Venice to Florence, Padua and Giotto, Bologna, Montecatini, and the national parks of Aspromonte and Pollino: the list of Italian UNESCO World Heritage sites is expanding. The announcement of new editions came this week from the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Fuzhou, China.

Beechwood tree forests are currently located in 18 countries: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, North Macedonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, as well as Italy. These forests represent an exceptional example of complex ecosystems, offering a wide spectrum of ecological models and different types of beechwood trees in different environmental conditions. 

The European beechwood has withstood even the most adverse climatic conditions that occur in the southern part of the European continent. After the last Ice Age, roughly 11,000 years ago, the beechwood began to expand beyond the southernmost areas, consequently taking root over a large part of the European continent. 

The UNESCO Committee has decided to include the national parks of Aspromonte and Pollino along with the territories previously registered in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2017. The Italian beech forests previously included are: Valle Cervara, Selva Moricento, Coppo del Morto, Coppo del Principe and Val Fondillo in the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise; Cozzo Ferriero, in the Pollino National Park (Potenza); the Umbra Forest in the Gargano National Park; Monte Cimino (Viterbo); Monte Raschio (Oriolo Romano, Viterbo) and Sasso Fratino in the Casentino National Park.

“The announcement that over eight thousand hectares of land have been proclaimed a UNESCO heritage site fills us with pride and joy,” the Undersecretary for the Ecological Transition Ministry, Ilaria Fontana, rejoiced on Twitter. The Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini called it, “A confirmation of the uniqueness of the ecosystems of our country and the effectiveness of the conservation actions of our protected areas.” Franceschini always stressed the importance of extending the recognition of a UNESCO site as much as possible, and that was endorsed by the World Heritage committee for the historic city of Florence: “The demonstration of how the shared work of the various realities involved can lead to important results.”

The historic center of Florence had already been recognized as a UNESCO site in 1984. The extension Franceschini promoted concerns the Abbey of San Miniato, the Church of San Salvatore al Monte, the Rampe, Piazzale Michelangelo, the Rose Garden, and the Iris Garden. “In all, Florence will boast over 530 hectares of areas of inestimable artistic, historical and environmental value,” said Mayor Dario Nardella, underlining the gratitude of the Florentines and Italy for further worldwide recognition. (@BrittanyBryantF)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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