The Spanish Institute of Engineering proposes a National Pact for Forests

The Spanish Institute of Engineering proposes a Pact for Forests to ensure the survival and economic viability of Spanish forests, addressing the threat of forest fires and rural depopulation while promoting the use of wood and other forest products.

Soria forests. Photo: Concha Redondo

The Rural Affairs Committee of the Spanish Institute of Engineering (IIE) has received the institute’s presidency support for the proposal for a Pact for Forests. This agreement aims to gather the greatest number of adhesions and to be accepted by the whole of Spanish society. To achieve this, it will engage directly with its legitimate representatives, both in the Congress of Deputies and in the Senate, as well as in the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces.

This proposal, which is born with the motto ‘For resilient forests with a future, socially profitable, economically viable and ecologically diverse’, is a commitment to “ensure the survival of forest lands in the long term, for the forest bioeconomy, for the use of wood and other forest products in the construction, packaging, textile, chemical, energy sectors… as opposed to others based on non-renewable raw materials”. And this survival requires, according to this document, “that the Public Administrations lead and promote a local, regional, regional and national business network linked to the forestry sector”.

This pact proposal underlines the crucial role of forests in addressing “the threat and consequences of increasingly virulent and uncontrollable forest fires and rural depopulation”. The capacity of forests to prevent and even reverse this situation is added to the consideration of “their contribution to the national bio-economy, the multiple ecosystem services they provide to the whole of society, urban and rural, and the importance of foresters in their generation”.

The 12-page document offers not only an overview of the current situation, but also sets out a series of objectives and proposes measures to achieve them (fiscal, investment, forestry planning, professionalisation of the sector, among others).

Finally, the Pact for Forests concludes with a call for professional forest management, which in its opinion is “the vaccine for our forests, which will not only lead to a reduction in catastrophic fires, but will also make it possible to tackle the demographic challenge, the energy transition and water availability, as well as creating and sustaining green jobs in the rural world”.

“Consequently, the document concludes, in order to maximise the contributions of forest lands to Spanish society, it is considered necessary to formalise a National Pact for Forests including all political parties, with a long-term vision, which ensures the survival and economic viability of these lands, recognising the importance of foresters in the provision of ecosystem services to all Spaniards”.

Full document in Spanish

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Cesefor is a Spanish private non-profit foundation. It promotes and provides funds for the Castile and Leon region in Spain while especially dealing with the forest sector, and its industry. The Foundation came into existence in January 2003 and since then it has been providing a dedicated service to the forest sector through various projects and business solutions.