The SustForest Plus project dedicates its first task force to the study of SUDOE’s resin forests, unifying them conceptually as an organized system that supplies natural resin for the European industry.
To this end it designs and implements a system of planning and management supported by three pillars in place: a territorial sectoral strategy, a management body and monitoring the strategy and tools for implementing the strategy.
Create the European Network of Resin territories
The creation of the European Network of Resin Territories is the cornerstone to achieve the overall objective of SustForest Plus: "To consolidate, promote and develop the sources of natural resin in Southwestern Europe as a strategic and preferential resource to supply the industry, create employment and protect the natural resources".
It is an association which aims to host regions, provinces, municipalities and other territorial organisations and public and private owners, originally belonging to the cooperation area "South-Western Europe", and social, scientific and technical organisations with common interests in the planning, coordination, development, promotion and organisation of the resin resource within the scope of its competences.
Development of a strategy for the European Natural Resin (ERNE)
The Strategy for Sustainable Forest Management of the European Natural Resins (ERNE) is proposed as a sectoral territorial strategy that will enable European producers of natural resin to coordinate their actions through a territorial joint management network to plan, improve and articulate the offer of products in a competitive way against non - EU products.
In addition, the strategy will enable sector representatives to present their objectives to public decision-makers, and will serve as an instrument to promote the integration of the natural resin sector into regional, national and European policies.
The European Network of Resin Territories will be the management body of the strategy.
As a technical document, the strategy is divided in two main blocks:
- Analysis of the territorial system of the SUDOE regions with a high resin potential. The study area is treated as an economic-productive integral system that analyses forest, socio-labour, economic and legal factors, from the perspective of the potential of resin production, opportunities and limitations of its exploitation, legal conditions, protection and instruments of existing territorial management, natural and anthropogenic threats to the resource and its socio-economic relevance.
- Territorial planning of the production system of natural resins in south-western Europe. The planning finds a sustainable balance between the industrial demand for natural resin foreseen by qualified representatives of the sector, and the reality of the territorial system and its productive potential described in the previous block. The territory is divided into zones and articulated by Operational Resin Management Units for which management guidelines are proposed to achieve the overall strategic objective. The strategy will have a system for monitoring and evaluation results, and periodic review of objectives based on the market forecasts and state and evolution of the resource.
Design strategic tools
The project SustForest served to identify structural limiting factors that hamper the mobilisation and improvement of the resin resource in Southern Europe. Small-scale farming, forest fires, the absence of long-term forestry research, the absence of predictive production models, the potential for genetic improvement of resin or the reluctance of some owners to integrate the activity of extraction with other forestry activities are some of the factors that affect large areas of the European resin territory.
SustForest Plus considers the development of technical and innovative solutions designed to solve the specific problems listed above, and may be used in an organised and strategic way to thousands of hectares of the Southwestern Europe’s resin territory through the ERNE.
Concretely, the following products are envisaged:
- Resin production models
- Network of permanent plots for resin experimentation
- Early evaluation system for resin production
- Maps of potential of resin extraction based on production models
- Enhanced reproduction forest material for the production of natural resins
- Implementation manual of high production of resin
- System of territorial reactivation of resin use in areas affected by huge fires
- Grouping Models of Resin Management Stimulation of forest multifunctionality
- Harmonisation of resin extraction with pine cone production
- Stimulation of forest multifunctionality: Harmonisation of resin extraction with timber production (Pinus pinaster ssp. Atlantica)
- Stimulation of forest multifunctionality: Harmonisation of resin extraction with timber production (Pinus pinaster ssp. Mesogeensis)