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Unión de Selvicultores del Sur de Europa


02 / 07 / 2018

The PLURIFOR project held its 2018 annual conference in Porto on 27 June. PLURIFOR is an Interreg Sudoe project that aims to contribute to the creation or improvement of risk management plans for forest species sensitive to biotic and abiotic risks.

The project focuses on risks related to storms, fires, soil degradation, pine wood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus), chestnut wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus), eucalyptus weevil (Gonipterus scutellatus), pine resin chancre (caused by Fusarium circinatum) and other emerging pests and diseases.

The project involves 11 partners including the Union of Southern European Foresters (USSE) and 21 partners including research institutes, universities, and other forest-related organizations (unions, associations, services) and regional governments and municipalities of the Interreg Sudoe countries (Portugal, Spain and France). The coordinator is EFIATLANTIC.

The project consists of analysing and improving, where appropriate, the technical risk management plans of seven regions (Portugal, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Basque Country, Castilla y León and Aquitaine), all of which are regions in which USSE has a forest owners' association as a member, and they participate in the project through USSE.

Each year the project has to hold an Annual Conference or Annual Seminar to present the progress of the project not only to the partners but also to the partners and other stakeholders of the sector; and in 2018 it was decided that this meeting would be held in Oporto, Portugal.

In this Conference/Seminar that took place on June 27, and considering that it had been almost a year since the fires that besieged Portugal and Galicia in 2017, the opportunity was taken for the presidents of the forest associations of Portugal (FORESTIS) and Galicia (AFG), both members of the USSE, to present the consequences that these fires had had for these regions and specifically for forest owners, in economic, social and environmental terms.

The morning session was also attended by a representative of DFCI (Défense de la Forêt contre les Incendies) from Aquitaine, who gave a presentation on how the successful system of defence against fires works in this French region, which not many years ago suffered fires such as those suffered by Portugal and Galicia.

Also participating in this morning session was a representative of the FAO who presented the initiatives of this United Nations organization on climate change and forest plantations, as well as a representative of the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission who is part of the forestry department team, which transferred the work currently being carried out by the EIP-AGRI Discussion Group of the European Commission on Forest Practices and Climate Change.

In the afternoon session, the project partners presented the progress of the project; specifically, they presented the first version of the new or improved plans and the tools that are being developed for each of the risks in the different regions.

The project is currently in the revision phase of this first version of the plans by the forest owners, the administrative authorities and the rest of the project partners.

Subsequently, a phase of simulation and economic evaluation of these plans will be carried out in the different regions. To further specify the next steps to be followed, the project partners held a meeting of their Technical Committee the following day, 29 June 2018 in Oporto.

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