By 2024, 6.6 million trees will be planted in Italy’s 14 metropolitan cities to combat air pollution, climate change and the loss of biodiversity: this is the objective of the “Protection and enhancement of urban and suburban green areas” measure included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (M2C4 3.1). The notice was published on the website of the Ministry of Ecological Transition (MiTe) and implements the “Urban and suburban forestation plan“, approved by the MiTe Decree No. 493, 30.11.2021. The Istituto Superiore per la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA), the Comando Unità Forestali Ambientali Agroalimentari dei Carabinieri (CUFA), the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT), and the Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca “Biodiversità Servizi ecosistemici e Sostenibilità” (CIRBISES) also worked on preparation of the Plan.
The plan envisages an investment of 300 million Euro, shared among the 1,268 municipalities belonging to the 14 Italian metropolitan cities, i.e. Rome Capital, Turin, Milan, Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Bari, Naples and Reggio Calabria. This will benefit the approximately 21 million inhabitants living in these urban areas, who will see 1,650,000 trees planted by 31 December 2022 and the remaining 4,950,000 trees by 2024. The guiding principle of the work is “planting the right tree in the right place”, taking into account specific territorial characteristics and geographical differences. Once planted, the new woodland will help to combat air pollution, climate change and the loss of biodiversity.