Region of Sicily (Italy)

The DRAFD (Dipartimento Regionale Azienda Foreste Demaniali - Regional Department of Public Forests Agency) has the institutional task to manage the public forests in Sicily.

The management of public forests requires all the silvicultural techniques for the conservation of natural and artificial woods (as the many plantations with coniferous species and Eucalyptus carried out from 1950): reafforestation, silvicultural operations, conversion to high forest of coppices. maintenance of roads, paths, buildings and fire breaks.

DRAFD also manages 32 Regional Natural Reserves of the 72 established in Sicily. These protected areas of particular landscape and natural interest include Natura 2000 areas where human activities are restricted by national and regional rules in order to guarantee the conservation of natural habitats.

DRAFT is also entrusted with the following tasks:
  • actions and initiatives aimed at the support of the rural economy;
  • dissemination activities for the improvement of knowledge about natural heritage, such as scientific and educational publications;
  • planning of technical activities for preventing fire risks.

These tasks place DRAFT on the frontline for the protection and safeguard of the environment and in particular of the biodiversity.

The head-office of DRAFT is in Palermo. In each province of Sicily there are a provincial office. Each provincial office is equipped with administrative and technical staff which has a very good knowledge of its territory.

DRAFT as sub-department of Regional Ministry of Agriculture and Forest resources cooperate to the definition of the regional policy for the promotion of forest biomass.

This explains our presence in the PROFORBIOMED project. Managing our forests, by means of all necessary silvicultural operations (pruning, thinning, renovation cuts, re-naturalization cuts etc.) brings us to the production a great quantity of biomass wood with low quality. So we have great interest in finding a solution that will allow a correct use of forest biomass. The ideal solution, therefore, could be the one suggested by PROFORBIOMED project: extraction and use of forest biomass for energy and heat production according to the principles of Kyoto protocol and to the national and European policies.

Our mission is to improve our organization’s efficiency and to apply all possible techniques to protect forest resources and to preserve they to the future generations, improving present life conditions for local residents. DRAFT participates actively in all work packages of the project and in particular to the implementation of pilot activities in Sicily and the definition of regional Guidelines on forest biomass management.