FUTURECORK, a transformative project promoting bioeconomy in the Spanish cork sector

Three research centres, a university, a group of forest managers and a confederation of foresters participate in the project.

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Photo: FUTURECORK

Kick-off of FUTURECORK, a transformative project that seeks the adaptation and optimization of the national cork sector to the current and future ecological, economic and social situation. The challenge is to position Spain on the path to regain global leadership in the cork sector based on innovation, the preservation of biodiversity, job creation and the bioeconomy, with a focus on gender equality and the establishment of population in rural areas.

FUTURECORK has the support of the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), financed by the European Union – NextGenerationEU. The project is coordinated by the Catalan Cork Institute Foundation and has the participation of the Forestry Consortium of Catalonia, the State Agency of the Higher Council of Scientific Research (ICIFOR, INIA-CSIC), the University of Cádiz, the Center for Scientific and Technological Research of Extremadura (CICYTEX) and the Confederation of Forestry Organizations of Spain (COSE).

Context

Sustainable forest management of cork oak forests, cork extraction and its uses play a relevant role in the face of climate change, rural development and the bioeconomy, in addition to protecting a unique ecosystem such as cork oak forests, one of the richest in biodiversity in the world. the European Union for its effects as a natural barrier against desertification and forest fires. The rural areas where the cork oak forest is located face demographic challenges due to depopulation and the lack of generational renewal that generates depopulation, migration to urban areas and the abandonment of forests.

FUTURECORK seeks to adapt and optimize the cork sector to the ecological, economic and social situation through professionalization, entrepreneurship and diversification of the sector, increasing the added value of the cork chain and dignifying forestry work through communication and awareness. All of this will be worked with the following specific objectives:

  • Promote the resilience of cork oak forests to climate change
  • Increase production and productivity of the cork sector through innovative forestry management plans
  • Encourage professionalization and rural entrepreneurship in the cork sector
  • Diversify the cork sector by taking advantage of the sector’s by-products
  • Communicate, raise awareness and disseminate cork as a natural resource of biological origin

The project consists of 16 work actions with their corresponding sub-actions that will address challenges such as improving the resilience of cork oak forests and their ecosystem services, the valorization of cork products and by-products or the promotion of rural entrepreneurship with gender equality. to combat depopulation.

FUTURECORK has a global budget of 1,400,000 euros and will last until December 2025.

For more information contact Joana Valent.

SOURCEFUTURECORK
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Catalan Cork Institute
ICSuro, the Catalan Cork Institute, aims to stimulate development and knowledge in the cork sector, contribute to cork-related research and to otherwise encourage and promote the Catalan Cork Sector.