If not now, when?  It is the title of Primo Levi’s 1982 novel, but it is also a sentence that calls for concrete action.

If not now, when will we start talking and taking concrete action on the environment? We can start at any time, but today, 5th June 2020, is a special date: it is World Environment Day, whose main objective is to raise awareness in each of us about the dramatic decline in nature and our planet’s biodiversity.

About one million living species (out of an estimated total of about 8.7 million) are threatened with extinction. The biodiversity crisis also threatens the provision of eco-systemic resources such as food, wood, water and medicines. The same risks need to be addressed when looking at climate regulation and soil erosion control.

The biodiversity crisis puts many areas at risk, such as key supplies (eco-systemic resources such as food, wood, water and medicines), climate regulation and soil erosion control.

All of this may have a big impact on us all.

Let’s focus on wood

Wood is the number one renewable energy source (34% in Italy) and helps to combat the greenhouse effect, enhancing and protecting Italy’s forest heritage.

In Italy, as in the rest of Europe, wooded areas are constantly increasing, growing by 1000 square metres per second and have currently reached a total of 10.9 million hectares. Contrary to what many people think, forests in Italy as in the rest of Europe, are not disappearing. Through the practice of sustainable forest management, wood can be used to produce furniture, used in construction and even as a fuel for heating. The use of wood for these purposes contributes to the sustainability of trees, the country’s economy and the environment. It is wrong to think that the best way to enhance the value of forests is to leave them to their fate. Like all precious things, forests need care and attention and to be continually revitalised.

During the lockdown that has just ended, many people harshly criticized forestry activities, accusing this sector of exploiting forests as if they were “timber mines”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Those who work in this sector don’t destroy but rather protect forests. It is therefore clear that the accusation that forest companies exploit and destroy forests is totally false, unfounded and refuted by official data. Operators in the wood-energy supply chain operate according to precise regulations and rules, but above all with the utmost respect for the well-being of both forests and people. It is totally in the operators’ interest to protect the forests and not to destroy them, because if they did they too would “die”.

We need to be conscious of the benefits that nature and especially wood offer.