Spreading the potential of managing corks to make them more productive and resilient

A project to improve cork production and resilience concludes with a successful day showcasing research and practical solutions to environmental and economic challenges faced by the cork industry.

Photo: ICSuro

Full stop to the project of “New cork management techniques to improve its productivity and resilience” with an outreach day that offered a comprehensive view of the new cork management techniques, showing how research and practice can go hand in hand to face the environmental and economic challenges of the cork sector.

The event, which took place in Agricultural Forestry School of Santa Coloma de Farners, had the participation of several experts from the forestry sector who presented the results of their research and experiences in the management of cork oaks. This is a project that has the support of the Department of Climate Action of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the European Funds for Agricultural Development (FEADER). Activity financed through Operation 01.02.01 of Technological Transfer of the Rural Development Program of Catalonia 2014-2022.

Presentation of the Project

Photo: ICSuro

Anna Sanitjas, director general of Forests and Environmental Management, opened the day to highlight the work done and its importance in forestry.

Albert Hereu from the Fundació Institut Català del Suro (ICSuro) started the presentations with an introduction on the background and objectives of the project. The need to develop new forest management techniques that increase the productivity and resilience of cork oaks was highlighted, especially in the face of the challenges posed by climate change.

Silvodasometric and Ecological Evaluation

Eduardo Collado of the Center of Forestry Science and Technology of Catalonia (CTFC) presented a silvodasometric and ecological assessment of the impact of different forestry actions on cork oaks. The study focused on comparing different management models, such as the total and partial removal of the shrub layer, as well as improving the vitality, production and resilience of corks to wildfires. The results showed that management actions can significantly increase the vitality and production of cork, as well as reduce the structural vulnerability of forests to forest fires​​.

Impact on Ecosystem Services

Teresa Cervera from Center of Forestry Property addressed the impact of corkscrew management on ecosystem services. He highlighted the importance of multifunctional management of forests, which not only produce cork but also provide services such as carbon sequestration, water regulation and biodiversity conservation. Cervera emphasized the need to implement payments for ecosystem services (PES) as a tool to finance sustainable forest management and compensate owners for the positive externalities generated​​.

Practical application from the perspective of forest ownership

Rose Mundet from Forestry Consortium of Catalonia provided the practical perspective of forest owners. He outlined the current challenges, such as high operating costs and difficulties in mechanizing the cork peeler, as well as the decline in pluggable cork production due to cork cork. Mundet stressed the need to recover abandoned corks, improve management to prevent large forest fires, and enhance the quality of the product through the training and professionalization of operators.

SOURCECatalan Institute of Cork (ICSuro)
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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.