2017 Italian Mountains Report launched


The Rapporto Montagne Italia 2017 (2017 Italian Mountains Report) was presented on 30 January 2018 in the House of Commons in Rome. Now in its third edition, the report is produced annually by the Italian Mountain Foundation, which is made up by the National Organization of Mountain Municipalities, Communities and Bodies (UNCEM) and the National Federation of Mountain Catchment Basin Consortia (FEDERBIM). Focusing on socio-economic dynamics affecting highlands, the report highlights the pluralistic character of mountains, underlining how natural resources and ecosystem services provided by mountains are a source of wealth for Italy and key for the development of mountain areas.

Many of the new features presented in the third edition of the report show mountains in a state of growth, from the point of the gross domestic product (GDP) as well as development opportunities. The return of a large number of young people to the agricultural sector led to the creation of many small- and medium-sized businesses. This, combined with the increasing number of migrants reversing the trend towards depopulation in mountains, and the rise in touristic offers, is changing the face of Italian mountains. In fact, being in a mountainous location is considered an advantage by many companies in northern Italy, as stated by 38 percent of companies located in the municipalities of the Alpine arc and 34.9 percent located in the northern Apennines. Among the advantages, companies cite customer loyalty and the reputation of the territories.

Mountain municipalities are also on the forefront of decarbonising the economy. Currently, there are 1 588 Alpine and Apennine municipalities that have joined the Covenant of Mayors, which commits European municipalities to implementing sustainable energy action plans. With regard to the production of energy from hydroelectric sources, 20.5 percent of mountain municipalities have activated actions in this sector.

According to the report's findings, an important boost to the mountain economy could come from the payment of ecosystem services. The estimate leads to quantifying the value of Italy’s ecosystem services at about €90 billion per year, two-thirds of which are produced in the mountain area. This presents an opportunity to be certified and guaranteed through the combined efforts of local communities.

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