Montagne Firoentine Model Forest (FMMF)

Demographic challenges, Environmental sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Governance, Employment

This social innovation relates to the creation of new multi-actor and multi-sector networks which aim at providing a new governance instrument for forest resources as well as agriculture and rural lands. These instruments are based on the active involvement of local actors in the forest-based economy, including tourism, recreation, culture, and sharing of know-how.
The Model Forest of Montagne Fiorentine (FMMF) is a non-profit association based on a large partnership of any local actor or association that wish to engage in the management of forests with sustainable plans (in environmental, economic, and social terms). One of the key problems found was the low added value of their wood and derived products. Hence, one of their activities is ‘Il legno’ (the wood), a recently developed brand in order to give an added value to local wood sourced in the model forest (i.e. local wood), giving a clear traceability to clients that the wood has been produced in a legal and sustainable way (following environmental and social standards internally developed).

Networking, Production of goods, Public participation, Support (Technical, legal, etc.), Marketing & Promotion
84 local actors and organizations are stakeholders of FMMF:
All the other local authorities, associations, companies, individuals working in the fields of forest-wood sector, agriculture, rural development, tourism, recreation, foresters and agronomist consultants, research institutes, national park Foreste Casentinesi, Tuscany Region.

• Positive changes in the economy (revitalization of forest-based local industries and activities, organic farming products like olive oil, jams, cheese, development of rural tourism), on society (employment opportunities in the valley, reinforced social relationships within the community, young professionals were able to work in their rural territory), and on culture (re-discovery of traditional products and restored places and buildings).
• In particular, the development of the wood brand will aim at improving the resilience of the local economy and at improving working conditions for employees (e.g. adoption of health and safety protocols, and training courses).
• FMMF have already developed a wood showroom in which wood products with the label can be showcased and promoted.
• They have also developed dissemination materials and guides for the correct usage of the brand. So far, 12 public and private wood local producers are involved in the initiative.

* Information at the level of NUTS 3 or local regions.