New uses of the forest: forest products and leisure, an opportunity for rural development

More than 800 participants took part in the 6th edition of the Spanish Forestry Congress, organised by the Spanish Society of Forestry (SECF) from 10 to 14 June in Vitoria-Gasteiz, European Green Capital 2012. A key event for the forestry sector in Spain, the congress meets every four years with participants including researchers, managers, entrepreneurs and other industry professionals.

6 Span congress2_360.jpg : 44.4755859375KbParticipants discussed the role of forests as an engine for economic development and a source to improve quality of life. Presentations showed how urban society, rural development and forestry are more closely related than may first appear. 

Imperceptibly, forests perform essential life functions, contributing to the health and well-being of society through improved air quality and water, regulation of micro-climate and CO2 fixation, formation of landscapes and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. Furthermore, there is significant value for urban society in access to natural resources produced in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. Increased promotion of non-wood forest products such as mushrooms, chestnuts, pine, natural resins and cork, as well as leisure pursuits such as hunting or fishing, have benefits for all, but in particular for rural society while enabling forests to be maintained or improved.

New uses for forests and the use of emerging technologies to manage them, such as forest biomass for energy or timber certified for eco-construction biology, combined with the urban demand on forests for leisure and NWFP, represent an opportunity for sustainable rural populations whilst generating thousands of jobs.

Photos: Elena Gorriz

Presentations by staff from the EFIMED-CTFC joint unit:

Prokofieva, I., Mavsar, R. & Górriz, E. (2013) Who should pay to improve the provision of forest goods and services? Actas del 6º Congreso Forestal Español. 11 págs. Vitoria.

Varela, E., Mavsar, R. & Jacobsen, J.B. (2013) Social preferences in the management of Pinus halepensis stands in Catalonia.  Who benefits from forest management? Actas del 6º Congreso Forestal Español. 16 págs. Vitoria.

Górriz Mifsud, E., Domínguez, G. & Prokofieva, I. (2013) Forest owners preferences regarding regulatory tools for ecosystems services: the case of mushrooms in Catalonia Actas del 6º Congreso Forestal Español. 12 págs. Vitoria.

Back to article listing

© European Forest Institute -


To subscribe EFIMED Newsletter, please contact Email. For more information check out www.efimed.efi.int