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LIFE+BOSCOS - Sustainable forestry management of Menorca in a context of climate change

LIFE07 ENV/E/000824


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Contact details:

Contact person: Joan JOANEDA
Tel: +34 971356251
Email: reserva.biosfera@cime.es



Project description:

Background

The Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted that forest ecosystems in Europe are very likely to be strongly influenced by climate change. Mediterranean forests and shrubland will be especially vulnerable. Though all impacts have yet to be identified, forest fires will probably increase, predicted droughts will increase tree vulnerability to biotic and abiotic factors, and the change in rainfall regime will increase the risk of erosion. Covering 50% of Menorca, forest ecosystems are highly significant in terms of landscape, erosion control, cattle management, water regulation and biodiversity. While agrarian activity is important on the island, forest exploitation has been low since the 1960s. Besides, forests are mainly privately owned and do not benefit from sustainable management. In this context, adapted forest management could substantially decrease the risks foreseen from future climate change.


Objectives

The main objective of the LIFE+ BOSCOS project was to contribute to the development of sustainable forestry management, to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, in Mediterranean forests in Menorca. The project aimed to elaborate and assess adapted plans and management guidelines for Menorca, which will be demonstrated on a series of pilot plots of different characteristics, so that they can also be transferred to other settings. Activities were designed to take into account governance elements and forest management criteria from the ministerial conferences on protection of forests in Europe.


Results

The LIFE+ BOSCOS project developed and implemented sustainable forest management plans to help Mediterranean forest ecosystems in Menorca adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. The project achieved its objectives through three main lines of work: forestry planning at the island scale; forestry planning at the estate or farm scale; and awareness-raising among landowners, managers and the general public. The project first synthesised available information on the effects of climate change on Mediterranean forests, established a knowledge database, and drafted the ‘Forest Management Directives for adapting Menorca’s forests to climate change’. The latter acted as a roadmap and framework for implementing coordinated, sustainable and adaptive forest management in the island’s forests. The drafting of the Directives took nearly two years, and benefitted from expert knowledge and public participation. Three workshops were held to discuss the project’s objectives, meetings were held with Local Agenda 21 representatives from all the island’s towns, and a discussion forum was set up on the project’s website.

The second phase of the project began with the selection of ten agro-forest estates on which to establish demonstration plots. The Minorcan Island Government signed a collaboration agreement with the selected estates to draft Sustainable Forest Management Plans and execute the pilot proposals. A total of ten ‘Forest Management Plans for Adapting to Climate Change’ were signed. Measures designed to adapt forests to climate change were implemented on a total of around 755 ha on the island. Based on its experience, the project published the ‘Practical Guide for Drafting a Management Plan for adapting Menorca’s forests to climate change’. This aims to provide landowners and forest managers with a tool for developing management plans that can be progressively applied to all Menorca’s agro-forest estates. The project published a total of 53 guidelines and 32 specific measures, along with thematic maps of the island’s forests.

A detailed cost-efficiency analysis was carried out of the measures implemented, using data provided by contracted companies in terms of human, technical and material resources. Given the range of business types involved and the different conditions of each estate, this provided a multiplicity of data that can serve as a basis for fixing unit prices for similar forestry work on Menorca. These tariffs are published in the ‘Good Practice Guide for Adapting Forest Management to Climate Change in Minorca’

Calculations were made of the direct (i.e. wood and new pastures) and indirect (improved ecosystems and environmental services) benefits for estates of the implemented actions. The total cost of the actions for nine pilot estates was just over 172 000€ (including forestry work and restoration of dry-stone walls). These actions generated direct benefits of 12 899€ in wood and 7 703€ in pastures. The actions carried out did not cover the initial financial outlay, but they did generate benefit in terms of fire prevention, natural regeneration and the provision of environmental services (e.g. carbon capture, erosion control and the recharging of aquifers) in the estates and surrounding areas. Extrapolating these results to the whole island, the value of forests becomes clear in the fight against erosion (16.3 million €/year), in regulating the water cycle (2.2 million €/year) and in carbon capture (estimated at 1.9 million €/year). The project estimated a total value of 23.5 million €/year for all the environmental services provided by the forests on the island of Menorca.

The project contributes to the implementation of the Kyoto protocol and climate change policy generally, and the EU Biodiversity Action Plan. Its main innovative aspect concerns the governance element of forestry management, especially the measures to address climate change impacts at the estate level. These were defined in such a way that the experience can be replicated in similar Mediterranean environments. At a national level, the project collaborated with the Spanish Ministry of the Environment in the development of indicators of climate change effects in the Biosphere Reserves.

The project will bring socio-economic benefits thanks to the information generated and capacity building for land owners and managers, and six companies involved in the project, which will help in the development of the green economy and create new opportunities for diversifying the forestry sector of Minorca. The project also raised public awareness on the value of forest ecosystem services, the possible impacts of global warming, and the role of sustainable forest management, through a website, forest guide and other activities.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Land-use & Planning - Forest management
Climate change Adaptation - Sectoral adaptation (industry-services)
Climate change Adaptation - Natural resources and ecosystems


Keywords

island‚  forest management‚  management plan


Target EU Legislation

  • Land & Soil
  • COM(2013)659 - A new EU Forest Strategy: for forests and the forest-based sector (20.09.2013)
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2013)216 - EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Consell Insular de Menorca
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description The Consell Insular de Menorca is the local government of the Island of Menorca. In the Balearic Islands, Consells have further competences in nature conservation than other local administrations, including managing their protected areas and species.
Partners None

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Project reference LIFE07 ENV/E/000824
Duration 01-JAN-2009 to 30-JUN -2015
Total budget 1,444,395.00 €
EU contribution 717,973.00 €
Project location Castilla-La Mancha(España)

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Read more:

Poster "El encinar, un bosque mediterráneo" (2.36 MB)
Project web site Project's website (ES/EN/CAT)
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan Plan de comunicación Post-LIFE
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Layman report Layman report (Catalan version)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (Spanish version)
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report
Publication: Technical report Executive summary of the project

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version