iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Public perceptions of forests across Italy: an exploratory national survey

Giuseppe Carrus (1)   , Angelo Panno (2), Juan Ignacio Aragones (3), Marco Marchetti (4), Renzo Motta (5), Giustino Tonon (6), Giovanni Sanesi (7)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 13, Issue 4, Pages 323-328 (2020)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3394-013
Published: Jul 28, 2020 - Copyright © 2020 SISEF

Research Articles

In a context of progressive expansion of the Italian forest area, we present the results of a national survey exploring public perception of forests across different geographical scales in Italy. Perceptions of forests are assessed in relation to popular beliefs on relevant environmental issues such as countering climate change, protecting biodiversity, and promoting social cohesion and environmental education. Participants (N = 1059) living in five different regions of Northern (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Piemonte), Central (Lazio, Molise) and Southern Italy (Puglia), were recruited in the survey and completed a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. Survey questions regarded the estimated percentage of forest cover, the perceived importance of different environmental issues and of different material and non-material forest products, as well as participants’ perceptions regarding connectedness to nature. Results revealed a generalized tendency to overestimate the extension of forest surface area in the participants’ region, in Italy, and in the European Union. Results also showed high scores for participants’ perceived importance of environmental issues, such as climate change and biodiversity protection, and in their belief that forests could play a positive role in addressing these issues and providing important outcomes and benefits for the quality of human life, such as health and well-being or social cohesion.


Forest Perceptions, Nature Experience, Environmental Attitudes, Environmental Issues

Authors’ address

Giuseppe Carrus 0000-0003-1680-1657
Roma Tre University, Department of Education, Rome (Italy)
Angelo Panno 0000-0002-6516-161X
European University of Rome, Department of Human Science, Rome (Italy)
Juan Ignacio Aragones 0000-0001-9139-4225
Complutense University of Madrid, Department of Psychology, Madrid (Spain)
Marco Marchetti 0000-0002-5275-5769
University of Molise, Dipartimento di Bioscienze e Territorio (Italy)
Renzo Motta 0000-0002-1631-3840
University of Turin, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari, Turin (Italy)
Giustino Tonon 0000-0002-4851-0662
Libera Università di Bolzano, Facoltà di Scienze e Tecnologie, Bolzano (Italy)
Giovanni Sanesi 0000-0002-4218-3605
University of Bari Aldo Moro, Department of Agro-environmental and Territorial Sciences, Bari (Italy)

Corresponding author

Giuseppe Carrus


Carrus G, Panno A, Aragones JI, Marchetti M, Motta R, Tonon G, Sanesi G (2020). Public perceptions of forests across Italy: an exploratory national survey. iForest 13: 323-328. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3394-013

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: Mar 06, 2020
Accepted: Jun 08, 2020

First online: Jul 28, 2020
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2020
Publication Time: 1.67 months

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