The Abruzzo National Park is one of the oldest in Italy. The park is the leader of the UNESCO site of the Beech Forests of Europe. More information about UNESCO Beech Forest can be found here.
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Founded on 16 November 1945 in Paris, it seeks to build peace and mutual understanding among countries through the promotion of education, science, culture, communication, and information.
The site Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe was born in 2007 and was further extended in 2017, with a total of 64 old-growth beech forests situated in 12 different European countries, including Italy.
Italy is home to six sites: the forest of Cozzo Ferriero in Pollino National Park, Foresta Umbra in Gargano National Park, the old-growth beech forest of Monte Cimino in Viterbo Province, Monte Raschio forest in Regional Natural Park Bracciano-Martignano, the beech forests of Valle Cervara, Selva Moricento, Coppo del Morto, Coppo del Principe, and Val Fondillo in Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, and Sasso Fratino Strict Reserve in Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna National Park.
For Italy, the nomination process was coordinated by Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park and by the researches from the University of Tuscia. The importance of the Italian beech forests in this serial property is given by their continent-wide uniqueness: in fact, our country is home to the oldest beech trees in Europe, with a heritage of trees older than 400-500 years scattered all over the country. Some of our beech forests, even if less widespread, equal the natural features of the primary beech forests of the Carpathians. Moreover, in Italy it is possible to find the southernmost component parts of the serial site, situated in areas representing some of the most significant glacial refuges for the species and home to unique genotypes adapted to warm-dry climates, whose preservation is crucial to understand the current climate change adaptation. Finally, some of our beech forests distinguish themselves for the presence of some of the highest beech trees in Europe (45-50 meters of height) and for their greatest arboreal biodiversity.
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