The region of Tuscany is drafting the new Rural Development Plan (Piano di Sviluppo Rurale – PSR) as part of the Common Agricultural Policy reform for the EU programming period 2014-2020. The participatory approach adopted has ensured the productive inclusion of local actors that have determined a set of goals for Tuscany, to be integrated into the general EU goals. This also allowed public authorities to develop new forms of partnership with private actors guarding the territory through their economic activities. This will reduce pressure on public debt in times of economic crisis and will provide the opportunity to foster innovation and rural development by keeping agricultural business active even in marginal areas where it would otherwise be unprofitable.endif; ?>
What new initiatives will favor Garfagnana in the 2014-2020 PSR?
The main part of PSR will be focused on agricultural and forestry activities, and these measures will mostly be in favor of businesses that will be able to access different measures and plan their interven- tions accordingly. I think that PSR will also be interesting for public authorities, since they must integrate public interventions with private ones. There are structural actions that the private sector cannot do and are for the public sector to be taken care of, while production activities would fall more under the private sector. Other elements include creating quality brand for the region as well as innovative actions in the short supply chain as follow-up to the previous program- ming period. These projects have had positive results and will be the foundation for the next policies. The value of a short chain supply is that it comprises different actors (suppliers, producers, retailers) as well as local actors focusing on agricultural research, or in the food industry sector, allowing the creation of local networks.
What measures are underway to restore the landscape or to manage hydro-geological risks?
Those will be mostly forestry measures, which we worked a lot on over the past years. In Garfagnana, we spent €18 million on interventions, but unfortunately, damage on the territory after floods are very common and severe. There are some interesting instruments to mitigate the damage. One is the internal areas project developed at the national level: Tuscany as well as all the other regions will be asked to identify a pilot area where they will test an integrated management project, providing investments for private or public bodies, and health, educa- tion and mobility programs that are prerequisites for investments. One proposal has Garfagnana and Lunigiana [an adjacent region] cooperating on such a project. Tuscany has developed a ranking based on Irpet data to determine which areas are to be considered peripheral to project development. In Garfagnana, 12 out of 16 municipalities are considered peripheral, while another 4 are in Lunigiana, so it might be possible to identify a wider area with common problems.
How to integrate such an initiative with the Ente Terre Toscane and Banca della Terra?
There are two ways to include such initiatives. The first is to reclaim abandoned land with initiatives on uncultivated and under-used land as part of the territory management efforts. This is an important part of the public budget in the area, given its vulnerability to climate events. Another method on which we already invest, which is earmarked for the next PSR, is the landscape element.