Turin's Partner Forest Program
Turin established a Partner Forest in April 2022, launching with a project that used conservation timber from eastern Gabon to improve a public park. Further development is expected soon. Join the mailing list and follow the blog for news.
The launch: Hermada Sustainable Hotspot workshop
Turin’s Partner Forest was initiated through the leadership of Stratosferica, a group of tactical urbanists who have been helping local residents build their vision for a public gathering space in the city’s Precollinear Park. This connection resulted in a collaboration, under the auspices of the city administration, to design unique, placemaking outdoor furniture from conservation timber sourced from a Partner Forest. In workshops held in April 2022, volunteers, students, designers, and makers gathered to build the furniture for the site dubbed the Hermada Sustainable Hotspot.
Working with sustainable forestry in Gabon
The Iroko timber brought to Turin supports the conservation of forests of the Congo Basin. It came from the provinces of Haut-Ogooué and Ogooué-Lolo in eastern Gabon, from forestry concessions managed by Compagnie Equatoriale des Bois, a subsidiary of Precious Woods. These concessions are certified by both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Precious Woods has led sustainable forest management in Gabon for over a decade, influencing green-standard setting national forest laws and regulations. Members of surrounding communities are trained and employed in forestry and wood processing, which is done locally at mills and kilns in the town of Bambidié.
An ongoing connection between Turin and tropical forests
The Hermada Sustainable Hotspot connects the residents of Turin to the residents of Gabonese communities who are helping protect their tropical forests through sustainable forest management. The local-to-local connection is made through the furniture, which is engraved with words describing the values of the project. It is also communicated through an informational display. Because Precollinear Park exists on the site of a disused tram corridor, an old tram shelter was repurposed to display a “Tropic-call for the future.” Additional improvements to the park will provide further opportunities for Turin to reshape material and cultural connections between its residents and tropical forests.