The IV National Congress of Silviculture (Turin, 5-9 November 2018) is organized by the Italian Academy of Forest Science with the collaboration of the Piemonte Region and the support of the most important academic and scientific institutions and forestry and environmental organizations.

From 1954, when the first National Congress of Silviculture was held in Florence, different functions have been recognized to the forest, following the development of the Italian social and economic situation. Globally silviculture has acquired a growing importance which goes beyond the cultivation of existing forests. Along with the traditional production and protection functions, in the last years scientific progress and society’s expectations have acknowledged forests with new roles, which have been included in International Agreements and Agendas and have changed the idea of the forest in the public’s imagination. But the growing presence of forests in international debates and in the media, has not always been followed by an adequate attention to forest management and planning in the short, but mainly in the medium and long term.

In Italy the forest area has doubled in the last century and is now almost 40% of the total land area, increasing the overall environmental value. These new forests must be carefully assessed and managed in the context of the growing importance that forests and silviculture are acquiring in the economies of each Region, with environmental consequences at the national scale. Furthermore, forests, natural capital and main green infrastructure of the country, are faced with the challenge of green economy.

In the last decade there have also been important changes in the organization and governance of the forestry sector in Italy: the State Forestry Corps has been transferred to the Carabinieri and a new General Direction for Forests has been created in the Ministry for Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies.

The IV National Congress of Silviculture will be a forum where researchers, representatives of national and local government, of the public and private forestry and environmental sector, will be able to exchange and discuss experiences and results, with the aim of providing innovative, forward looking scientific and technical syntheses, aimed at the full implementation of sustainable forest management at all levels.

The preceding Congresses of Silviculture

The first Congress of Silviculture was held in Florence (14-18 May 1954). The Congress was organized by the Italian Academy of Forest Science which had been founded in 1951 with the presence of the Italian President Einaudi. The aim of the Congress was to provide scientific and technical guidance for the reconstruction of the Italian forests and mountain areas which had been severely damaged by World War II. The date of the Congress was chosen to celebrate five hundred years from the first forestry reform drawn out by the Republic of Venice for the conservation and enhancement of the forests belonging to the Republic.

The second Congress of Silviculture was held in Venice (24-27 June 1998). The Congress was organized by the Consulta Nazionale per le Foreste e il Legno, the General Direction for Forest, Mountain and Water Resources and the Italian Academy of Forest Science. The aim was to analyze and discuss the changes that had taken place in the Italian forest situation after 40 years from the first congress and define silvicultural approaches for the improvement and conservation of Italian forests, of forest biodiversity and forest landscapes.

The third Congress of Silviculture was held in Taormina (16-19 October 2008). The congress, organized by the Sicilian Region, the State Forest Corps and the Italian Academy of Forest Science, with the collaboration of the Consulta Nazionale per le Foreste, il Legno e la Carta and of the San Giovanni Gualberto Foundation, aimed at discussing the future development of Italian forestry, with a specific focus on the Mediterranean area and on the development of a “culture” of the forest.