Notwithstanding the suspense created by COVID-19 we have adapted our work routines and are focusing on bringing our various climate risk projects to fruition. We are pleased to announce the successful start of this new project at Genillard&Co. Together with the University of Trento and Fondazione Edmund Mach we will during 2020 focus our risk analytics on the forests in northern Italy and will endeavour to improve their resilience against extraordinary meteorological events. With our expertise in risk management and individual insurance solutions we will propose a holistic resilience solution for this region, focusing on insurance and de-risking schemes. This Climate-KIC funded project aligns with several other recent Genillard&Co activities in the forestry sector. We therefore kindly invite you to contact us with your forestry-related enquiries.
Whereas in past decades forests in the Trentino region in northern Italy have not suffered significantly from natural disasters, in October 2018 the region was hit very hard. Windstorm Vaia raged for three days with gusts exceeding speeds of 200km/h accompanied by heavy rainfall, resulting in a loss of approximately 1.5 million m³ of growing stock volume of fallen trees solely in South Tirol. Storms have long been the main threat for forests in Europe, accounting for about 50% of losses. Whilst the climate is changing and global temperatures are rising, extreme storm events are likely to happen with greater frequency causing further severe damage (EEA, 2017), and there has also been a dramatic increase of forest fires in recent years due to protracted periods of very dry weather. At the same time forests become increasingly important in mitigating climate change as they regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity and play an integral part in the carbon cycle. Approximately 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, one-third of the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels, is absorbed by forests every year (IUCN, 2017). It is therefore crucial to preserve, restore and value our global forests.
One measure to help forest owners recover after a loss event, and thereby enabling them to clear their sites and replant destroyed trees, is the investment in a forest insurance scheme they can rely upon. Unfortunately, to date forestry insurance is not very common in large parts of Europe, with some countries not even offering any forest insurance policy options. Within this project we will tackle this gap and assist in finding an optimal insurance solution for forest owners in northern Italy. It is our strong belief that this project initiative with its holistic approach to risk will significantly contribute towards supporting climate resilience.