Adopt a corner of the Amalfi Coast

A new local initiative promotes a more sustainable Christmas. Giving away a tree

By Priscilla Santos da Silva, cover photo by Vito Fusco

Our forest is our home. The Amalfi coast is known for its vertical lemon gardens. Beyond the gardens, between the sky and the high mountain borders, we find the earth’s lungs: our forests. In defense of this natural heritage, a new business trend has developed in sustainability marketing. Today, it is increasingly imperative for companies to make choices that put the environment first. Four years ago, Amalfi Coasts Lands launched a project that aims to safeguard and promote the Amalfi Coast’s territory. How? Thanks to the “adopt a tree” initiative, which seeks to protect the woods that animate the whole area. Simone Carrillo, the project manager, is firmly convinced that international entrepreneurs, tourists, and local citizens can help keep natural capital alive. A tree can absorb 30 kg of Co2 in a year. To rebalance the system, it takes ten trees for one man. Today, 60 investors have already adopted 1 to 30 trees. The commitment to the defense of the area’s natural resources does not stop there. In 2020 Amalfi Coasts Lands launched the education program “Embrace a tree,”: an educational presentation aimed at children that seeks to introduce local agriculture’s reality.

Natural capital

Natural capital is a new concept in the business landscape. Framework law 394/91 established some rules for protecting and safeguarding environmental rights, transforming the entire ecosystem into an opportunity and a wealth of its sustainable heritage. According to the Ministry of the Environment, Natural Capital “becomes a value-service that does not exhaust the enhancement of nature but is accompanied by another, broader and more general value. A value-free from the  profit’s theory, linked to the concept of fundamental protection and the intangibility of nature.” Taking care of our territory is now a duty, and why not protect what we already have before losing it?

The woods

The importance of maintaining the Amalfi Coast’s woods is fundamental for the environment. They improve air quality, clean springs, promote biodiversity, and enrich soil quality. Forests are our lungs, but they are also our structure. They are our foundation. With forests maintained and cared for, there is a chance to stop landslides. Another critical factor is the reduction of fires. “Wouldn’t it be better to keep what we already have instead of waiting for this heritage to burn down and then proceed with the reforestation?” Cardillo asks himself. For the future, he hopes to create new agreements for the protection of the forests in the Campania region. Today two kinds of woods are part of the project: one is 40 hectares, located in Monte Fazerlio on the border between Vietri sul Mare and Cetara, and the other is in Croce di Cava di Tirreni, which is spread over 45 hectares of land.

Amalfi Coast’s biodiversity. Photo by Laura Thayer

The importance of biodiversity

The prevalent tree species are chestnut, ash, holm oak, field maple, hornbeam, and strawberry tree. However, biodiversity goes further. There are more than 200 types of plants, including red fruits and rosemary. Not only do humans participate in maintaining biodiversity, but bees and goats also play a crucial role. There are five colonies of bees that carry pollen from one tree to another, and 50 Neapolitan goats that graze contribute to cleaning the woods.

Christmas is eco-sustainable

For December, Amalfi Coasts Lands has launched the “Special Christmas” initiative, which includes an eco-box with which you can adopt a tree with a certificate and label, accompanied by a selection of some zero-kilometer products, including chestnut honey grappa and honey cremoncello. Participating is very simple, go to the website and choose one of the various packages available. The initiative also allows helping local farmers.

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