This case study focuses on improving the economic and environmental performance of forestry in the Basque Region of Spain.
The Roncal Valley in the Basque Pyrenees is environmentally important due to a large, legally protected forested area. However, there are many different land holdings and owners, who manage their land on an individual basis without any co-ordinated effort to enhance (or maintain) biodiversity or reduce the environmental impact of forestry activities.
'Read more' for further details on the case study and updates from the field trial - 'The development of a forest management plan'
Location: Roncal Valley, Basque Pyrenees, north east Spain
Main land use: forestry
Stakeholders: landowners, government technical managers, regional authority, municipal government, researchers and forest engineers
o How to improve forest management
o How to improve the quality of forest products
o Lack of knowledge about local forestry ecosystems and how they deliver public goods and services
o The current threat from and treatment of disease in tree species
o Forest fire prevention measures
o Compatibility with other forest uses e.g. hunting, tourism
Case study updates:
• A kick off meeting was held in summer 2014 with a wide range of participants, who collectively formed the Roncal Valley Forestry Society in order to improve forest management.
• Details of the case study were included in an article written for the April 2015 issue of the EFIMED Network News and can be found here http://www.anpdm.com/newsletter/2577370/44405C417344415B4671
• In late March 2015, a meeting was held with forest owners to identify challenges and innovations required in the establishment of a Forest Owners Group and in the development of a Joint Forest Management Plan. The results from a survey of forest owners was used to identify key topics and concerns. A further meeting was held in August 2015.
• Issue to be addressed in the field trials:
o The development of a forest management plan
• Following a meeting with the forest owners of Roncal to identify their requirements, a comprehensive Management and Forest Estate Planning document will be drafted, providing guidance over the next ten years.
• LIDAR (a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analysing the reflected light) will be innovatively used in the preparation of the Forest Management Plan.
• The case study featured in an article written for the December 2015 issue of Navarraforestal: number 37 (in Spanish) and can be found here http://www.foresna.org/descargas/pdf/nf37.pdf
• A stakeholder meeting was held on 15th January 2016. The details of which have recently been published as a news item on the EFIMED (Mediterranean Regional Office of the European Forest Institute) website http://www.efimed.efi.int/portal/news/?bid=2299
• Details from the case study have been posted on The Union of Foresters of Southern Europe (USSE) website: The latest case study and VALERIE news can be found here http://www.usse-eu.org/es/noticias (in Spanish only). A VALERIE project summary can be found here http://www.usse-eu.org/en/proyectos (in English) and here http://www.usse-eu.org/es/proyectos (in Spanish).
• In September 2016, Valentino M. Govigli (EFIMED) presented the findings from the VALERIE case study on 'Project challenges and policy recommendations associated with joint forest management' at the final conference of EU COST Action FP1201, known as FACESMAP (“Forest lAnd ownership Changes in Europe: Significance for Management And Policy”), in Vienna, Austria. Link: http://facesmap.boku.ac.at/index.php/final-conference
• The case study held a stakeholder meeting on 16th December 2016 where, following a field visit, a draft of the Joint Forest Management Plan was presented to the Roncal Forest Owners Group.
Discussing management options in the field. Photo: Elena Gorriz
• In this collaborative interaction between forest owners and the VALERIE team, LIDAR information was used successfully as a novel technique in the preparation of the Management Plan. The next step is for the forest owners to analyse the management proposals that have been specifically designed for highly fragmented forest holdings. More details of the meeting have been published as a news item on the EFIMED (Mediterranean Regional Office of the European Forest Institute) website http://www.efimed.efi.int/portal/news/?bid=2687
• In June 2017, the EFIMED team attended the Spanish Forestry Congress in Plasencia, Extremadura and presented the “Challenges for Joint Private Forest Management”.
• This work synthesised the review of scientific and practitioners’ experience in the field of associations and groups of landowners agreeing on shared management strategies. The literature review extracting the best available knowledge was conducted within the VALERIE project, as well as its implementation through the social innovation process of establishing a new forestry group in the Pyrenees of Navarra (Spain).
• Models of joint forest management could, in principle, provide benefits to their members, but also create management challenges, which often preclude their uptake or hinder their consolidation. Some issues (e.g. fiscal, decision and geographic matters) are only partially resolved by existing policy instruments that finance joint forest management models. The large bulk of challenges depend directly on forest owners’ internal dynamics and their organization, negotiation, and conflict resolutions skills, trust, and transparency. The role of public and private advisors on promoting joint groups is, therefore, crucial to reinforce these models, minimising existing group challenges.
• The presentation was positively received by the congress audience and generated an interesting discussion on the topic, currently on the agenda of several Spanish regions. More information (in Spanish) can be found here: http://7cfe.congresoforestal.es/sites/default/files/actas/7CFE01-587.pdf