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Unión de Selvicultores del Sur de Europa


KEBBE (Connect! Getting to know the Forest Bioeconomy of the Euroregion)

The project entitled "Creation of a multilingual school module on forest bioeconomy to promote the connection and competence of young people in the Euroregion", and acronym KEBBE (Conect yourself! Knowing the Forest Bioeconomy of the Euroregion) coordinated by USSE, in which they participate together with their partners from FORESNA-ZURGAIA (Forest Association of Navarre), the three Associations of Foresters of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (Arabako Baso Elkartea (ABE)) Bizkaiko Baso Elkartea (BBE), Gipuzkoako Euskal-Baso Elkartea (GEBE) and the IEFC (European Institute of Cultivated Forests) have been selected in the New Aquitaine Euskadi Navarra 2020 call for proposals, corresponding to "Euroregional Citizenship".

The project aims to train primary and secondary school students in the Euroregion and to promote territorial cooperation using forest bio-economy as a theme, which is an axis of European development and a fundamental issue for the socio-economic and environmental future of the Euroregion.

The project aims to create the knowledge bases that will serve the youngest to have a prosperous future, located in their territory and thus contribute to generate wealth in the Euroregion.

The aim is to create an accessible language for students, teachers and families included in an e-learning tool that is attractive to young people. The translation of the contents into the three languages will allow the familiarization with the same concepts in other languages, a necessary starting point to be able to communicate in languages different to one's own.

The project will last 12 months, during which time it is intended to carry out a pilot project in three schools, one in each of the three regions of the Euroregion.

Spurring INnovations for forest eCosystem sERvices in Europe

The SINCERE project (stimulating innovations for forest ecosystem services) is a four-year project 100% funded through the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme. From 2018 to 2022, SINCERE will develop new policies and new business models by connecting knowledge and experience from practice, science and policy, across Europe and Peru. 

Extraction and application of extractives from Atlantic mixed forest tree species to prevent wood decay

Participation in project VALERIE “Valorising European Research for Innovation in agriculture and forestry” 2014-2017, corresponding to the 7th European Framework Programme.

The USSE confirmed its participation in Project VALERIE in January 2014; the Project seeks to build bridges between new discoveries in the scientific community and the reality of agricultural and forestry managing entities, while also fostering innovation. 

The USSE develops the Project in the Roncal valley in the Pyrenees, working to achieve sustainable forestry management for private forest owners in the area. 

Upon completion of the 4 year project life (2014-2017), the computer platform Ask-Valerie will come online ( This "intelligent" search engine will aggregate certain knowledge resulting from agricultural and forestry research for use by farmers, foresters, advisers and researchers. It will facilitate communication, providing end users with access to innovative knowledge. It will also allow them to share knowledge, experience and points of view with their colleagues from other regions of Europe. 

The activation and re-launch of the Roncal owners group will enable innovations offered by project Valerie to be put into practice for their correct planning and management. 

For more information:

Brochure Valerie project

Case study: Sustainable Forest Management and Ecosystem Services


Other documents of interest: 

- Newsletter Valerie Summer 2015 EN

- Newsletter Valerie October 2015 EN

- Newsletter Valerie November 2015 EN

- Newsletter Valerie January 2016 EN

Newsletter Valerie winter 2016-2017



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 will focus on risks related to storms, fires, soil degradation, pine wood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus), chestnut wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus), eucalyptus weevil (Gonipterus scutellatus), pine resinous canker (caused by Fusarium circinatum) and other emerging pests and diseases.
The project involves 11 partners including the Union of Silviculturists of Southern Europe (USSE) and 21 partners bringing together research institutes, universities, and other forest-related organizations (unions, associations, services) and regional governments and municipalities in the countries of Interreg Sudoe (Portugal, Spain and France). The coordinator is EFIATLANTIC.
PLURIFOR emphasises the incorporation of the latest scientific knowledge on forest risks in south-western Europe into civil risk management mechanisms in order to deal with these risks and their impacts. Administrations and partner institutions work collaboratively to develop current evidence-based management plans.
The project will run for three years from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2019.
For more information visit the project website:

Forest Bathing establishment and dinamization in Busturialdea

This is a project approved by the Department of Economic Development and Competitiveness of the Basque Government, in the call for cooperation aids, by Order of 28 June 2017.

The aim of this project, which began at the beginning of 2018, is to implement and dynamise an activity with therapeutic purposes in wooded forest lands in order to diversify forest products and services and to value the ecosystem services provided by these lands.

In addition, the project seeks to bring together a large part of the local agents in the primary, social and health sector of the Region of Busturialdea, as well as agents involved in research into the relationship between Green Spaces and Human Health to determine a list of therapeutic activities that use the ecosystem services offered by the wooded forest lands of the Region.

An important reference for this project is COST ACTION E 39: "Forests, Trees and Health and Human Well-being" (2004-2008). Founded in 1971, COST defines an intergovernmental framework in the field of technical and scientific research, enabling European cooperation. COST is organised in 4-year Actions, which consist of creating a coordinated network of national research projects on specific themes.

The COST ACTION E39 ("Forests, Trees and Health and Human Well-being") was created with the objective of increasing knowledge about the dominant health priorities identified within European countries and the opportunities offered by forestry and green spaces to face the problems associated with these needs.

The ultimate aim was to detect meeting points between the therapeutic, educational, social and rehabilitating virtues of natural resources and green spaces, and their contribution to health policy.

The national report of the COST ACTION E39 for the case of Spain showed that it is essential, for the correct use of the social and economic benefits derived from the interaction of the natural environment on health and human welfare, to implement co-participated pilot experiences that allow to verify this interaction.

Therefore, the present project pretends to give continuity to this international current, looking also for the valuation of the ecosystemic services provided by the wooded forest lands of the Region of Busturialdea and, in general, those of the Basque Country.

The USSE is carrying out the integral coordination tasks of the project and counts on the collaboration, as members, of the Association of Foresters of Bizkaia, the Association of Rural Development Urremendi and the Biscayan Association of Relatives and People with Mental Illness (AVIFES).




After the beginning of the project, there was a circumstance that was not foreseen in the project, but that the USSE has understood to be very interesting and necessary to include or link with the referred project and also believes that it can be very beneficial to make the forestry reality of Bizkaia known.

The USSE has the status of observer organisation in the "Ministerial Conference for the Protection of Forests" or FOREST EUROPE process, a high-level forum on forest policy in which 46 signatory countries from the Pan-European region participate. It turns out that among the actions included in the work program of the process for the period 2016-2020, the USSE participates in a group of experts for the improvement of the social dimension of sustainable forest management in the context of the benefits that forests offer for human health and well-being ("Expert Group on Human Health and Well Being"). 


To access the project website click on the image above.

The project ended on 30 June 2019 with the presentation of the conclusions obtained throughout the development of the project. Among these conclusions, we would highlight the visibility that private forest owners and their management had and the impact of forest bathing on the health of people with mental illness. In the link below you can access the report on this impact:


Applicability of the processes of extraction and fragmentation of lignocellulosic materials from the sustainable forest management of the Atlantic mixed forest of the Basque Country

This is a project approved by the Department of Economic Development and Competitiveness of the Basque Government, in the call for cooperation aid, by Order of 28 June 2017.

This project promotes the use of the forest resources present in the mixed Atlantic forest masses of the Basque Country through sustainable forest management. To this end, the characterisation, fractionation and valorisation of wood obtained from the sustainable use of the mixed Atlantic forest (multi-species forest) by means of techniques already used with wood obtained from monospecies forest plantations is proposed.

The specific objectives are:

  • Demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of using the mixed Atlantic forest to obtain products that can be used in processes with great potential for development in various productive sectors.
  • To include as raw material the products of the species of the Atlantic mixed forest in chemical and biochemical processes in order to obtain products with high added value for emerging sectors of the bioeconomy.

In the Basque Country there are more than 492,000 hectares of forest surface (according to the 4th National Forest Inventory) of which 47,929.18 ha correspond to mixed Atlantic forest stands. This type of forest is occupied by a mixture of hardwoods, usually autochthonous, in the form of small to medium sized stands, very dispersed in the territory and with a notable variety of tree species. It should be pointed out that under this heading typologies and ecological conditions of a very diverse nature are combined. The abandonment of old pinewoods or areas of pasture, favours this growth of the Atlantic mixed forest, from the trees that have grown under the cover of forest plantations. These are masses that are widely scattered throughout the Atlantic part of the CAPV and are generally small in size (less than 2 ha).

The USSE is carrying out the integral coordination of the project and has the collaboration, as partners, of the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), the Association of Foresters of Alava, the Association of Foresters of Bizkaia and the Association of Foresters of Gipuzkoa.



Conference "Management and New Uses of the Mixed Forest":

  1. Applicability of the processes of extraction and fragmentation of lignocellulosic materials from the sustainable forest management of the Atlantic mixed forest of the Basque Country. Leire Salaberria, Gorka Altuna. (USSE).

          Link presentation

  1. Sustainable use and management of the Atlantic mixed forest. Aitor Onaindia (Basoa Fundazioa).

          Link presentation

  1. Characterization and use of lignocellulosic materials. Eduardo Robles (UPV-EHU).

          Link presentation


Quantitative and qualitative benefits of forest bathing

The project "Quantitative and qualitative benefits of forest baths" has been one of the projects selected in the XIV Call for Social Health Aid of DKV Seguros, in the Health and Environment category. Thanks to this, DKV Seguros will finance 80% of the total cost of the project.

The aim is to evaluate the psychological and physiological benefits of forest baths for people with mental illness. For this purpose, physical measurements will be carried out, by means of heart rate monitors and blood pressure and oxygen saturation meters in the blood, as well as piscological evaluations before and after each forest bathing session, in order to draw conclusions about the impact of forest baths on the quality of life of these people.

The dynamics of the sessions is based on the previous experience acquired by the project partners, Basoa Fundazioa, AVIFES and USSE in the first forest bathing experience that took place in Euskadi and led precisely by USSE, "Implementation and dynamisation of forest baths in Busturialdea". Several conclusions have been drawn from that experience and the aim of this project is to go deeper into those aspects that remained unresolved and also to compare them with the results obtained in that first experience.

The sessions are guided by a guide certified by the Forest Therapy Institute (FTI), the most internationally recognised entity in the training of forest bath guides and professionals capable of working on forest therapy interventions through their Continuous Professional Development programmes. The duration of the sessions is 2 hours per week and will be carried out during 3 consecutive months.

The land used to carry out the sessions is a private forest land, located near the beach of Laida. In order to guarantee access to the land and the safety of the participants and the landowner, a custody contract has been drawn up for which the landowner will receive financial compensation.

It is also planned to design a route with specific invitations appropriate to the land and the diversity of spaces that exist on it, so that if the owner deems it appropriate, anyone can freely access certain days of the week to perform a self-guided forest bath. In this section we will add the information about the days and hours that are allowed access.

The project will end in June 2020.