Systemic forest management in parks: an unsolved problem

Orazio Ciancio


The Italian State law 394/91 on protected areas regulates the use of natural resources within parks. At present productive and protective use of the forest are still regulated by proscriptive rules: what is not prohibited is allowed. However, this type of management does not correspond to the demands rising from the society. Instead, prescriptive rules are needed: what is not permitted is prohibited. The current forest management is based on the dominant conception of classical silviculture and forest management. However, it is necessary to consider that the forest is not just a sum of trees, but is instead a complex biological system, an autopoietic, adaptive system that learns and evolves. In this new vision, we need to identify a new approach that takes into account the total value of the forest, and adopt a new philosophical perspective on nature. The progress of forest science suggests that we should operate according to the canons of silvosistemica, an “extensive forestry”, in harmony with nature, which considers man as a conscious member, with a cultural dimension, of the biological community, In the next decades it is very likely that real ecological wars will dominate the political agenda worldwide. In this scenario forests will have a determining role for the survival of our Planet: in the future a possible choice will be to considering all natural forests as an Ecological Park.


forest management; systemic management; preservation; conservation

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