High Nature Value Forests identification: A case study in Apulia region – Italy
The strengthening of environmental compliance and the introduction of new challenges in rural development policy have led to a wide shift of resources toward specific objectives, concerning the conservation of particular areas identified as High Nature Value Farmlands/Forests (HNVF). These areas represent important elements of rural strategies due to their ability to allow both biodiversity and economic development. The aim of the research is to create an analysis frame, with Multi Criteria Analysis method and GIS elaboration, in order to identify forests that meet the HNV concept. The analysis examines also several aspects related to the multifunctional role of forests and the effect that different contextual factors might have on it. The research provide a support in terms of implementation and resource distribution of the Rural Development Programme in a field where the main efforts have been yet spent on agriculture, leaving forestry behind.