At the opening session, Carlos Cabanas, General Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, pointed out that the National Forestry Council is already under way to work with the Regional Governments jointly with the forestry sector in order to create a “space for dialogue and a joint action plan”. In fact, next June is planned to create this working group in which progress can be made in the preparation of the forestry action plan before the end of the current legislature. The day, organized by the Official College of Forestry Engineers (Professional Association of Forestry Engineers), the Junta de Castilla y León, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA), and the Together for the forest platform (Juntos por el bosque), as well as deepening the issue of the celebration of forests and energy, presented the Strategic Forestry Agenda for the next three years, with its challenges and priorities. This year’s celebration of this international day is dedicated to this natural energy source, with the aim of raising awarness that a good sustainable management of forests can play a key role in the global landscape of renewable energies.
In the first session of the day, and after the forestry sector data provided by Cabanas, which depend on some 300,000 jobs and represents 1.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country that is the second of the EU in surface Forestry after Sweden, gave the turn to the Dean of the Official College of Forestry Engineers, Eduardo Rojas. Mr. Rojas urged the Ministry to commit itself to carry out the forestry action plan to promote more employment and greater sustainability of the forests as soon as possible.
Rojas has indicated that more than 54 percent of the surface of Spain, about 27 million hectares, is forest and is therefore the social and economic importance of the sector, highlighting the need to raise awareness of the importance of forest masses as the only ones that can work as carbon sinks to reduce CO2 emissions. In this claim, he has pointed out that “the forest is only given attention in summer with the fires, and that sufficient and decent resources are required to settle the rural population that manages the forest environment efficiently.”
After this session, a commemorative tree was planted and a round table was set up to analyze the situation and future of the sector moderated by Jose A. Arranz, General Director of the Natural Environment of the Junta de Castilla y León.
It is worth mentioning the presence of Jose-Luis Muñoz, Director of Climate-KIC Spain, who pointed out that “Deforestation is responsible for 15% of global CO2 emissions, just behind the combustion of fossil fuels, and the only solution is to ensure the viability of rural economies through good forest management to avoid soil erosion and maintain the water cycle, and regarding about the need to innovate, and the role that Climate-KIC can play , he commented “the four thematic areas we have as priorities, the land management (Sustainable Land Use) has the forestry sector as one of its key goals, where its distribution in geographies, in this case the Mediterranean, poses a sort of common problems as climate change (high temperatures, lack of water resources or flood problems) and common forest typology”. For this reason he said that they were establishing a strategic working group that addresses the issue of forest management in all its aspects.
At the round table, the Mayor of the valencian municipality of Lliria and AMUFOR Secretary General (Association of Forest Municipalities), Manuel Civera, was participating in the debate. He is very pretty involved in European projects that boost the rural environment and forest management.