Stop the “invasion of insects and alien organisms in the Italian countryside”. After the “Xylella bacterium arrived with essences imported from Latin America, which devastated the olive groves of Salento in Puglia; the Asian bug that damages Italian orchards; the Drosophila suzukii, the killer gnat that attacks cherries, blueberries and grapes; the gall wasp that killed chestnut trees; or the red weevil “; now it is the turn of the “Ips typographus”, or the bark beetle, which “slips under the bark where it digs intricate tunnels, which interrupt the flow of sap to spruce, larch, silver fir and Scotch pines, killing them within a few weeks “. Senator Sandra Lonardo in a question to the Minister of Agricultural Policies sounded the alarm against the new killer insect. “In spring – he explains in the inspection union document – the males of the bark beetle enter under the bark and mate with the females, which dig tunnels up to 15 centimeters long in the wood, where they lay an average of eighty eggs. Once the population settles down. multiplies and becomes aggressive, the bark beetle launches mass attacks that quickly lead to the death of the plants “. An “invasion triggered by the presence of a large amount of wood on the ground in the areas affected by the Vaia storm”. Furthermore “in Italy there are over 11 million hectares of very vulnerable forests due to neglect and abandonment. Thus, there is a risk of the loss of a great wealth of biodiversity, with a strategic capacity to absorb CO2 and mitigate climate change, as well as a clear worsening of the trade deficit in the wood sector “, which” led to an induction of around 4.8 billion euros in 2021 with over ten thousand workers between lumberjacks and forestry farms “.” It is therefore necessary to create the economic and social conditions for contrast the removal from the countryside by enhancing the functions of supervision, maintenance and management of the territory carried out by agricultural entrepreneurs, as well as urgently adopting measures that deal with the damage caused by the bark beetle, such as cleaning the woods from fallen trunks with a high risk of infestation and abatement of plants already infested, with the parallel streamlining of bureaucratic procedures for intervention and management of fo reste “. Lonardo also complains about a European Union policy that is “too permissive”, which allows “the entry of agri-food and horticultural products without the application of precautions and quarantines which, on the other hand, are required of exported national products”. The senator therefore asks the minister “what urgent measures it intends to undertake in order to deal with the damage caused by the bark beetle, also activating functions of supervision, maintenance and management of the territory, enhancing in this sense also the role played by agricultural entrepreneurs”.
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