New public-private collaboration to boost forest management

The Gómez-Pintado Foundation and the Forest and Climate Change Forum held a seminar on Sylviculture Collaboration Entities.

Photo: FBYCC

The seminar “Sylviculture Collaboration Entities (SCE): a new opportunity for the Spanish Forestry Sector” was held in Madrid, on May 31, 2024. The event was organized by the Gómez-Pintado Foundation and the Forest and Climate Change Forum and focused on the proposal of Sylviculture Collaboration Entities (SCE), inspired by the successful Urban Collaboration Entities (UCE)*.

During 2023, a comprehensive analysis of the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of implementing SCEs in various autonomous communities was conducted and confirmed their legal viability. This new initiative aims to balance the supply and demand for wood, promoting the sustainability and health of forest stands through public-private collaboration.

The event featured prominent speakers who addressed different aspects of SCEs. The opening was led by Jesús Paños Arroyo, president of COAATM**, followed by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado and Germán Glaría Galcerán, presidents of the organizing entities. In their speeches, they highlighted the challenges in the construction sector, such as lack of access to housing and labor shortages, emphasizing the need to industrialize construction processes. Public-private collaboration was presented as a viable solution to overcome bottlenecks in forest management, benefiting both the forestry sector and the construction industry by addressing housing access issues.

Photo: FBYCC

Ana Rodríguez-Olalla, consultant in sustainability, climate change, and sustainable finance at Analistas Financieros Internacionales (AFI), delivered the first presentation. She underscored the potential of the forestry sector in Spain, which has substantial forest resources but needs to improve wood extraction and its productive value. She also presented a report on the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of SCEs, highlighting their potential to increase national wood production and reduce dependency on imports. The seminar continued with an analysis of the legal viability of SCEs by Jesús A. Sedano Lorenzo, environmental and sustainable development lawyer at Uría Menéndez. He emphasized that these entities could operate without significant changes to state regulations, requiring adaptations to regional forestry laws. They would be private entities collaborating with the administration, which would retain control and supervision.

Juan Picos, director of the Forest Engineering School of Pontevedra (Spain), pointed out the overload of forestry services and the increasing complexity of administrative procedures and the market. He noted that SCEs could be a valuable tool for mobilizing wood resources and overcoming regulatory, legal, and financial bottlenecks, leveraging the potential of forest resources.

Belén Velasco Sardón, technical director of the Technical Management Society (STT Madrid), and José María Ortega Antón, general coordinator of the Municipal Urban Planning Department of the Madrid City Council, shared the experience and benefits of UCEs in the urban sector. Velasco explained the history and operation of these entities in Madrid, and their role in reviewing technical documentation and issuing compliance certificates for licenses and responsible declarations. Ortega discussed the requirements UCEs must meet in the Community of Madrid, highlighting that this collaboration has improved processing times and increased satisfaction for both citizens and the City Council.

The seminar concluded with a roundtable discussion moderated by Álvaro Picardo, secretary of the Forest and Climate Change Forum, and José Luis Tomé, managing director of AGRESTA. The discussion covered the need for digitalization, job creation in communities affected by depopulation, and the importance of approved official rates to ensure a fair market. It was noted that SCEs are seen as an opportunity to streamline processes and improve management, but this requires significant effort from public administrations and a detailed analysis of costs and benefits. Carmen Avilés from the Polytechnic University of Madrid emphasized the urgency of increasing wood extraction to meet the demand from the construction and bioeconomy sectors, highlighting the fragmentation and need for innovation in forestry companies.

Photo: FBYCC

In summary, the seminar underscored the importance of this new public-private collaboration model to enhance sustainable forest management in Spain. The need for innovation, collaboration, and appropriate regulation was highlighted as crucial to harness the potential of forest resources, always considering sustainability and environmental conservation.

Watch the seminar’s recordings of each presentation (in Spanish)

About the Forests and Climate Change Forum

The Forests and Climate Change Forum is a non-profit association composed of key stakeholders in the forestry sector and related entities. They unanimously support the role that forests play in the fight against climate change.

* Urban Collaboration Entities (UCE): a legal figure established to facilitate and expedite administrative processes related to urban management in a municipality or autonomous community. These entities are usually private and work in collaboration with public administration, performing technical and administrative functions to support the execution of urban projects. The aim of this entities is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of urban administrative procedures, reduce waiting times for obtaining licenses and permits, and increase satisfaction among citizens and developers by making the administrative process more transparent and accessible.

** COTAAM: Colegio Oficial de Aparejadores y Arquitectos Técnicos de Madrid

SOURCEForo de Bosques y Cambio Climático
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EFIMED is the Mediterranean Facility of the European Forest Institute. Based in Barcelona, Spain, it was launched in 2007.