InnoForESt partner and italian forest experts from the association, “Prosilva Italia”, visit a farm with a sustainable approach


11 October 2019

On October 11th, the Italian InnoForESt partners along with Italian forest experts from the association, “Prosilva Italia”, visited Malga Riondera, a farm located within the Lessinia Mountains in the southeast of Trentino, which promotes agritourism and serves as an example of multifunctional forest-pasture management.

The farm lies at 800m surrounded by meadows and woods and has historic origins. In the 1970s it was turned into an “agriturismo” by Andrea and his family, who manage the property according to the principles of environmental sustainability, enhancement of the territory, quality of life and nonviolence. Thanks to European and local funds as well as his personal economic investment, the owner became a promoter of green tourism and natural agriculture. All the activities are conducted with respect to the balance of nature while trying to reduce as much as possible the environmental impact.

Along with accommodation in an authentic rural atmosphere, Malga Riondera offers tourists and visitors thematic trekking in the surrounding wildlife, didactic workshops on sustainability (e.g. water cycle, water and energy saving), and popular dance and music shows. They cultivate their products without using pesticides, respecting the natural rhythm of the plants. They feed their animals only with hay, fresh grass and biologic feedstuffs. The owner tries to reduce energy consumption as much as possible by means of renewable resources. The farm is powered by solar and photovoltaic panels to heat the water and produce electricity and the heating of the building is provided by local firewood, gas and GPL, which are the least impacting fuels. The hut was renovated with bio-building techniques, respecting the traditional and typical architectural style of the region and furthermore, during the everyday life the owner uses only biodegradable detergents and avoids, when possible, throwaway plastic.

In an attempt to be sustainable and efficient, the owner calculates the ecological footprint of all the farm activities in order to reduce them. Given the impossibility to totally eradicate the impact on the environment, he promotes a compensation scheme by planting new forests in Ecuador on the base of the total amount of CO2 emissions coming from the farm activities.
One of the challenges which Andrea and his family are facing is the conflictual relationship with large carnivores. Their sheep and goats have already been victims of predation from wolves. Therefore, they decided to protect their herd by applying electrified nets, proving that the coexistence between men and predators is possible.

With its sustainable approach, Malga Riondera can mainstream economic interests with landscape and nature conservation. This represents an effective example of correct and successful use of European and local funds. They exploit the local natural resources and the forest ecosystem services without limiting their future availability. This model of management allows the preservation of traditional agricultural, forestry and pastoral practices and assures the maintenance of pastures, which Italy, as an InnoForESt partner, identified as their principal goals in the project.

For these reasons, this farm can be considered a model of multifunctional forest-pasture management, with the possibility to upscale within Trentino and to replicate in other regions, more in the mid-high elevation area, where a more balanced approach in the land management is needed.

Fortunately, Malga Riondera is not the only virtuous example of integrated and sustainable management in Trentino aware that the promotion and support of such local realities is becoming fundamental to secure the long-term sustainable provision of the forestry ecosystem services and to further establish the targets of the InnoForESt European project.



Dr. Francesca Bussola – Project Manager
PAT – Forest and Wildlife Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento

Dr. Caterina Gagliano – Project Coordinator
PAT – Forest and Wildlife Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento