High Nature Value forest areas: a proposal for Italy based on national forest inventory data

Giuseppe Pignatti, Flora De Natale, Patrizia Gasparini, Angelo Mariano, Antonella Trisorio


The maintenance and enhancement of High Nature Value (HNV) farming and forestry systems is a strategic objective of the European Rural Development Policy. The assessment of the effectiveness of rural development measures as regards this objective is a challenging task. The paper focuses on HNV forest areas and presents an approach to assessing their baseline extent in Italy. The procedure described here is consistent with the guidelines provided by the European Evaluation Network for Rural Development. Based on National Forest Inventory (NFI) data, sound estimates are provided of the extent of HNV forest area at national and regional level. The use of NFI data ensures consistency of data collection and processing at the national level as required in European Commission’s methodological guidelines. Following this approach, the overall of HNV forest in Italy amounts to 2,259,066 ha, which corresponds to 26% of the total forest area.


high nature value; indicators; national forest inventory; rural development

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