Experts from the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries of Uruguay and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Paraguay have visited Spanish public and private initiatives on agroforestry certification
A delegation of professionals from the Directorate General of Forestry of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (DGF-MGAP) of Uruguay and the Investment and Export Network (REDIEX) of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Paraguay have visited Spain to learn about agroforestry certification experiences in the framework of the European project AL-INVEST Verde, which promotes sustainable growth and job creation in Latin America.
The aim of this visit, on the part of Uruguay, was for the initiatives visited to contribute to the design of a certification system for agro-exportable products from farms that sustainably manage native forests. In the case of Paraguay, they have sought to learn about European strategies for the certification of forest products. To this end, five certification experiences promoted by public and private entities have been visited.
The mission began with several meetings with technical staff of the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO). Meetings were held with the Sub-Directorate General for Forestry Policy and Combating Desertification, with the Sub-Directorate General for Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity and with the Directorate General for Forestry Planning and Management of the Xunta de Galicia.
During the meetings, information was shared on regulatory and political instruments for forest management and planning, forest certification systems and the European Union regulation on supply chains free of deforestation and forest degradation, among other issues. Meetings were also held at the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda to learn about Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme, among others.
Relevant experiences have been visited with the participation of different actors. In the province of Cuenca, which is home to the largest forest area in the European Union, a visit was made to a Public Utility Mountain (MUP) managed by the Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha, to learn about the use of all its by-products and their subsequent marketing.
In Andalusia, in the rural area of Seville, they visited the Rural Innovation Hub “El Valenciano”, set up as an innovation laboratory, business incubator and business communities. The delegations learned, among other things, about strategies to increase the potential for carbon capture in olive cultivation. There has also been a meeting at the University of Cordoba to learn about research projects carried out in relation to the use of technology in the forestry sector, digitisation and tools for forest monitoring.
In the provinces of Jaén and Toledo, two rainfed olive farms and an oil mill were visited, which are participating in the European LIFE Olivares Vivos + project, which seeks to recover the biodiversity of the olive grove by maintaining the herbaceous cover or introducing native flora in unproductive areas.
The mission concluded at the Agricultural and Forestry Training Centre of Coca, in Segovia, where a meeting was held with technicians from the Junta de Castilla y León, with the presence of Ana Belén Noriega, CEO of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC Spain), analysing the importance of integrated forest management plans and public-private collaboration for the co-responsible management of the territory.