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Unión de Selvicultores del Sur de Europa


USSE presents the forestry reality of the Atlantic Arc regions during the EU 27 Forest Directors Meeting

15 / 12 / 2023

Representatives of the European Commission, forest sector stakeholders, private and public landowners, environmental organizations, people linked to the European Forest Institute, FAO and Forest Europe, among others, met in Cadiz from October 18 to 20 at the EU Forestry Directors Meeting. This meeting was part of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The first day was divided into three working sessions with the following themes: "Sustainable forest management and forest conservation: compatible principles in multifunctional forests", "Communication on sustainable forest management and climate-related risks" and "Practical application of the regulation on deforestation-free products".

The second included a guided excursion to the Los Alcornocales natural park, during which concrete examples and valuable presentations were given on the management of Quercus Suber (cork oak), biodiversity conservation and rural development, cultural heritage and the treatment of forest fires.

Invited by the Spanish Chair, Leire Salaberria, Managing Director of the USSE, participated as a representative of private forest owners and made a presentation at one of the working sessions.

Leire Salaberria's presentation was on "Sustainable forest management and forest conservation: compatible principles in multifunctional forests". This presentation delved into the theme of wood forest products in the EU Forestry Strategy and the importance of forest management and conservation, and also proved to be a great opportunity to explain the forestry reality of the USSE regions of the Atlantic Arc, more specifically in the Cantabrian area of the peninsula.

The director of the USSE emphasized mosaic landscape management, a practice that is currently being carried out throughout the Atlantic Arc, and explained how throughout this area they have bet and embraced forest certification, which guarantees the sustainability of the management and work being carried out in our forests.

He also pointed out that society is demanding progress towards the bioeconomy and the decarbonization of the economy and that the production of quality wood requires an active sustainable forestry strategy, "which must include clear-cutting practices, provided that at the landscape level a wide diversity of ecosystems can be maintained, giving rise to this mosaic landscape management that we have in the north of Spain".

Salaberria mentioned the project being carried out by the Galician partners (AFG) of the USSE called "Galicia Rexenera", which combines the mobilization of private initiative and funds from CO2 absorption projects, with sustainability criteria to restore forests burned in Galicia in the 2017 fires.

The invitation to the USSE by the Spanish Presidency has served to show the forestry reality of the USSE regions with their particularities and a sustainable treatment appropriate to them, not only to the political representatives responsible for forestry matters in the different EU countries, but also to the European Commission. One more way to make the legislator understand that when regulating on forests it is necessary to take into account the different forest realities that make up Europe and that an active sustainable forestry action is needed. This option contributes to the production of high quality timber as a renewable resource together with agriculture, biodiversity conservation, rural rejuvenation, industry development and ecosystem services under a mosaic landscape management system that helps us to address the decarbonization of the economy and move towards a bioeconomy based on biological and renewable resources.

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meeting Cadiz