NORFOR, a subsidiary Spanish forestry management firm of the ENCE Group , has regained its FSC Sustainable Forestry Management Certificate for 3,699 hectares of timberland in Northern Spain.
With this acreage, the ENCE Group reaches over 50,000 hectares certified under the FSC system, and total of nearly 100,000 hectares of sustainably managed certified timberland. Also this way NORFOR becomes the first company successfully re-implementing the FSC certification process in both Asturias and Galicia.
"We applaud the compromise NORFOR establishes again with the FSC beyond its participation as partner in the organization that promotes this certification system, thanks to the fixing up of those difficulties that have in past meant the temporary withdrawal of the certificate" stated Santiago González, FSC-Spain President.
FSC Sustainable Forestry Management Certification in Spain is a process of evaluation that acknowledges the good management of tree crops according to locally developed standards, which are inspired on principles and criteria established by the FSC International to define the minimum obligations, realistic or not, that a forestry management unit must comply with in a given area in order to be certified by FSC-Spain as sustainably managed.
These Spanish standards are currently under a necessary review as a result of a process of consultation and public participation, which may allow their full adaptation to the reality of Spanish forestry and an increase of FSC certified timber production in Spain beyond the maximum achieved of 0.032% of total annual timber harvests.
NORFOR voluntarily joins once more the compromise also temporarily agreed by other firms and public administrative bodies with the FSC Certified Sustainable Forestry Management System in Spain. Examples of these parties include Oret Subericultura (cork production), Industrias Exportadoras de Carbón (coal dealers) and non efficient timber productive forestland under different figures of protection managed by the Spanish Ministry for Environment, Rural Areas and Oceans; the Andalusian, Navarra's, Catalonian and Murcia's Regional Governments, the Grand Canary Provincial Government or the City of Saragossa.
This regained certification indicates that the FSC system, acknowledging an environmentally responsible management, could not just be socially beneficial and economically acceptable for some public or privately owned forestlands, mostly non timber productive, but also could perhaps be successfully extended to timber productive forestlands in other areas of Spain.
This renewed impulse for FSC certification of cultivated forests in Northern Spain could be joined by the future certification of 2,000 hectares of cultivated forests owned by small individual indigenous tree growers of Galicia. This initiative is framed within a FSC-Spain managed pilot project funded by the Spanish government and could allow FSC-Spain to implement for the first time in 10 years of activity a successful first stage of certification of timber productive management units owned by some of the 600,000 indigenous Galician tree growers .
The project is also linked to a larger initiative simultaneously taking place in Bulgaria, Portugal, Sweden and Denmark with the participation of NepCon.
 = The sustainable activity of the ENCE Group generates over 10,000 jobs, roughly 60% of which are directly happening in forestry, helping the social sustainability of indigenous rural communities in Spain. In addition, the activities of the ENCE Group allow fixing 5 million tons of CO2 per year, equating to the emissions of 1,000,000 people and becoming a very useful tool in the global fight against climate change. The ENCE Group and its forestry management subsidiaries were the leading pioneers for the introduction of certified sustainably managed timberlands in Spain, starting the adoption of certification processes by 2003.
 = Over 600,000 indigenous small landwoners and tree growers in Galicia roughly produce a 50% of Spain's yearly total timber harvests in less than 2% of its total available land. Their sustained effort permits locally grown cultivated timber in Galicia to be sustainably processed locally for the manufacture of high quality renewable, recyclable and environmentally friendly wood based products. This local indigenous effort diminishes the negative environmental impacts of sourcing timber or timber products from more distant areas, diminishes the pressure for timber and timber product procurement from native forests in Spain and overseas and sustains jobs in rural areas contributing to positive social impacts in highly fragile non urban communities, stewards of local ecosystems and landscapes.
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