UNAC: Portugal Dryland Champion 2014
UNAC – União da Floresta Mediterrânica (Union of Mediterranean Forests) is a federation of Portuguese forest owners’ organisations. It represents the interests of the Portuguese Mediterranean areas within domestic and European institutions, using a technical and political intervention strategy.
UNAC was awarded 2014 Portugal Dryland Champion by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Between 2012 and 2014, UNAC developed the Programme for the Enhancement of the Pine Cone and Pine Nuts Sector. The stone pine (Pinus pinea) is currently one of the most interesting tree species in the Mediterranean agro-forestry economy. This is due to the potential of the pine cone and pine nuts sector to take a lead role in ensuring an effective contribution to strengthening the economic value of a forest product. Furthermore, they could also contribute to reducing the risk of abandonment and land desertification in areas with limited sources of income.
If well managed, these pine stands can play a key role in ecological processes, such as water retention, soil conservation or carbon storage, as well as adding features of low intensity agroforestry multiple-use systems. They can also provide work and diversify sources of income for rural populations.
UNAC has been an important agent in the promotion of innovative approaches in Portuguese areas affected by desertification. These interventions achieved public recognition in Portugal and at the level of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UNCCD in the form of the 2014 Award.
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