Interview with
Ilaria Doimo (WP6)

Who are you and for what partner organisation do you work?Hi, I am Ilaria Doimo, PhD in forest policy and economics at the University of Padova, working from 2018 with […]


Who are you and for what partner organisation do you work?
Hi, I am Ilaria Doimo, PhD in forest policy and economics at the University of Padova, working from 2018 with Etifor. Etifor is an innovative SME and B.corp certified providing high-level consultancy services around natural resources management, governance, and innovation.

At Etifor I am a Senior Project Manager and I act as a transversal figure between research and implementation, working mainly with EU funded projects and consultancies for public authorities.

What is your expertise related to nature-based therapy?
My introduction to nature-based therapy emerged through tangible experiences. It began in 2013 when I started volunteering and collaborating with a national NGO in Italy. This organization utilized horticulture and the revitalization of urban green spaces to foster social inclusion and rehabilitation among diverse groups, including convicted individuals, seniors, and marginalized ethnic communities. During this time, I served one year as the coordinator of an urban community garden project, where I facilitated orchard workshops for children with autism and mental disabilities in partnership with a specialized association and its staff.

The second big ‘revelation’ for me was when I bumped into a mountain therapy group within the Italian Alps, unfortunately because of my dad’s illness. Witnessing the profound impact of this seemingly simple practice heightened my interest in the field, made me realize as nature-based therapies especially for some chronic diseases might be the only opportunity for improvement, for guaranteeing the right of enjoying nature for people with disabilities, for relieving burden on the families, and also another way to enhance cultural ecosystem services of nature. This has led me to pursue a PhD that merged my background in forest and economics studies with this innovative concept.

My doctoral research centred on exploring the dynamic relationship between forests and human well-being, with a focus on existing initiatives aimed at revitalizing the forest sector while promoting public health. Since then, I have devoted my attention to studying green care and nature-based practices, examining their organizational and policy frameworks, as well as their value and potential for innovation.

Can you describe the Work Package you lead in a couple of sentences?
WP6 is all centred around the economic assessment of the nature-based therapies and their sustainable financing options. We will use data both from the case studies and from broader literature and various methodologies to understand both the cost-effectiveness of the practice and we will try to define the value we can attribute to the health and wellbeing ecosystem services benefits provided by the natural environments.

We hope the results will be useful to upscale the use and adoption of nature-based therapies and facilitate the financing schemes. To cover all this, I will work with an amazing team and the core members are Giulia Amato, Linda Barci, and Colm O’Driscoll.

What is your own favourite way to engage with nature for your health and wellbeing?
Growing up in the countryside with the woodland at walking distance, from a very young age I built the practice of going in nature by myself (or with my dogs) for immersive walks to balance, ground, and heal. I realized when I lived in a crowded metropolitan area for some years, how this practice was deeply consolidated and how my body and mind really need regular nature contact to be well. I love being in nature in all its forms, but you can see my biggest smile when I’m surrounded by animals, hiking in the Dolomites, or walking up on a volcano.

LinkedIn: Ilaria Domino
Instagram: otariaz