EUSTAFOR WELCOMES A NEW MEMBER FROM CASTILLA-LA MANCHA (SPAIN)

The Junta de Castilla-La Mancha will join EUSTAFOR as a voting member as of 1 January 2021. In an introductory presentation, Félix Romero Cañizares, General Director of Natural Environment and Biodiversity in the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, explained that due to the financial crisis, the resulting economic struggles and further complications created by migration and lack of digitalization, forestry in Castilla-La Mancha had been temporarily left aside. Now, however, the forestry sector is becoming a clear pillar of the economy. Clear goals have been established to improve management plans, SFM practices, certification standards, etc. Joining EUSTAFOR is part of the revival of forests and forestry in the Region of Castilla-La Mancha and, especially, its desire to cooperate with other entities.

In southern Europe, forest lands do not only refer to areas covered by trees. There are 3,6 mio hectares of land dedicated to forest use Castilla-La Mancha, but only 2,6 mio hectares are tree-covered areas. The Regional Government manages 3,6 mio forestry hectares in total, of which 24% are included in the Natura 2000 network. The Regional Government also controls 1,7 mio hectares of private forests.

Félix Romero Cañizares, General Director of Natural Environment and Biodiversity in the Government of Castilla-La Mancha

Harvesting throughout the 5 provinces of Castilla-La Mancha is low, which means that there is still a lot of potential for the production of green biomass. For now, the majority of harvesting is of conifers in public forests.

However, in some areas the main preoccupation is wildfire prevention. More active forest management is required to reduce the fire hazard. This work mainly takes place during the winter, ahead of the fire season.

Link here to an article about Castilla-La Mancha in Spanish.

Published 05/12/2020, Brussels

Ms. Kathleen Begemann

Office Manager

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