It was 28 May, 2016 when a fire broke out on Pantelleria, that, fed by strong scirocco winds, lasted for days, burning hundreds of hectares of woodland. After the fright, the choral response of institutions, associations and citizens followed: in July Pantelleria became National Park, the first in Sicily, and shortly after the Parks for Kyoto Committee launched fundraising for the reforestation.
That year, with its agronomists, the Donnafugata winery gathered seeds of the Mediterranean scrub of the island. The seeds of Periploca and Cisto – autochthonous shrubs of Pantelleria – were germinated and grown in the nursery, and then they were put into pots; the 1,200 plants obtained in this way, were donated to the Comune of Pantelleria and will be planted these days in the first public green areas identified by the administration. The intervention wished for by Donnafugata, in addition to contributing towards improving the urban decor of the center of Pantelleria, has a symbolic value: promote the value of the biodiversity, nature and landscape of the island.
On 21 March Donnafugata will participate in “The Spring of Trees”, the initiative wished for by Mayor Salvatore Gino Gabriele – now also President of the Park of Pantelleria – with the cooperation of the Ministry of the Environment. With the involvement of Pantelleria school pupils, the green areas realized by Donnafugata will be presented, the exhibition “Biodiversity Steps” curated by the Ministry of the Environment will be inaugurated at the castle, and the first planting intervention, the fruit of fundraising launched by the Parks for Kyoto Committee, born out of the collaboration between Federparchi, Kyoto Club, Legambiente and Marevivo, will also be presented.
“For us who are committed to this extraordinary context of heroic viticulture that is Pantelleria – says José Rallo of Donnafugata that runs 68 hectares of vineyards in production on the island – it was very important to carry out an intervention that would contribute to remembering the importance of the Mediterranean scrub as a fundamental component of the island’s natural heritage. Now I am also happy to announce our decision to support the Parks for Kyoto Committee project; we will also sponsor the planting of trees that will take place in autumn when there will be all the conditions for carrying out the project, planting a total of more than one thousand plants.”
“The objective – adds Antonio Rallo – will be that of reforestation, carried out above all in the area of Montagna Grande, where the wounds inflicted by the fire were deeper: the Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences of the University of Palermo and the Park Authority are working on this. It will take time and more funding is needed, but the important thing is that we start. For centuries, on Pantelleria nature and agriculture coexist in equilibrium: it is up to us to commit ourselves to defending and improving this harmony and deliver it to future generations.”