6th Italian awareness-raising programme in Italy: Energy, biomass, soil and organic farming

The Forum QualEnergia? is a two-days event dedicated to the energy sector, which takes place every year. The 2018 edition has been organized in the wonderful Ara Pacis – the altar built by Emperor Augustus celebrating the peace for the Roman Empire – museum: the conference took place in the Auditorium, while the other rooms around were set for meetings and B2B session with the participants. The fifth session of the second day (November 28), focused on the interaction between biomass for energy production, soil consumption and organic farming, represented an occasion to explain the LIFE+ ORGANIKO project with its preliminary results.
From 15:00 to 16:30, Roberto Calabresi and Eugenio Barchiesi, from Kyoto Club, took part in several meetings with the people participating to the Forum, illustrating the LIFE+ ORGANIKO project objectives, activities and preliminary results, and answering many questions about the organic sector and how it is linked to the energy business, especially biomass.
From 16:45 the session started on the stage of the Auditorium, involving, together with Roberto Calabresi, Annalisa Corrado, from AzzeroCO2 and Danilo Marandola from CREA. Annalisa Corrado, Technical Director of AzzeroCO2, started with a presentation about the crucial role that the bio-methane is expected to have in the transition to a zero-carbon economy on 2050. She showed the various steps of the production process, highlighting the brand new legislative framework which regulates the digestate, a waste from the biogas production chain, which under strict conditions can be re-used as fertilizer in organic farming. Later on, she introduced the results of the ISAAC project, co-financed through Horizon 2020 and lasted from January 2016 to June 2018. ISAAC, carried on by AzzeroCO2 together with Legambiente, CNR – National Research Council, Associazione Chimica Verde Bionet and CIB – Italian Consortium for Biogas and Gasification, has as main output the identification of the social, economic and legislative barriers to the biomethane’s large scale diffusion.
Roberto Calabresi, Co-ordinator of the Kyoto Club’s Agriculture and Forests Working Group, introduced the theme of climate change and the organic sector in Italy and Europe, highlighting aspects related to the cycles of carbon and the ability of organic crops to fix CO2 in soils. He took advantage of the presentation of the preliminary ORGANIKO results, about the compared CO2eq emissions from different crops with different fertilizers, to underline how the use of compost can significantly reduce the GHG emissions. Finally he explained in detail the ORGANIKO activities both in Cyprus and Italy.
Danilo Marandola, researcher at the Policies and Bioeconomy Centre of CREA – Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, explored the next CAP – Common Agricultural Policy programming period post- 2020, related to the soil management. CREA together with Rete Rurale Nazionale – National Rural Network, a programme carried on by the Ministry of Agriculture – supports policy and decision-makers at regional and local level towards an efficient use of the EU resources following the EU agro-climate and environmental priorities. He showed some data and graphics about the evolution of soil productivity and the soil loss by water erosion in the EU, and then described the legislative framework and the main regional PSR – Rural Development Plans’ measures addressing soil and land management.
During and after the various speakers’ interventions there were many questions / answers with the attentive and reactive audience. Some of the participants were themselves owner of organic farms situated inside the Rome urban area and provided their concrete experience to the debate.