Life+ SUBER - Life+ SUBER: Integrative management for an improved adaptation of cork oak forests to climate change

LIFE13 ENV/ES/000255

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Contact details:

Contact person: Roser MUNDET
Tel: 34972842708
Email: roser.mundet@forestal.cat

Project description:


Cork oak (Quercus suber) forests are listed in the European Union’s Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) as an important habitat for conservation. This (Annex I-listed) West-Mediterranean habitat grows over approximately 20 000 km2 in the EU – with 65% found mainly in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.

Climate change and cork production are among the main threats to the conservation of this important habitat. Of all the bioclimatic zones, the Mediterranean is considered one of the most vulnerable to climate change. The main foreseen effects of climate change in the Western Mediterranean region are a reduction in rainfall, increased temperatures and an increase in extreme weather events.

For the oak forests, impacts are already starting to appear and include: lower vitality and productivity due to increased water stress; an increase in pests, especially the cork beetle (Coraebus undatus); and an increased frequency of wide-spread forest fires.


The project aims to implement and demonstrate new forest management techniques for European cork oak (Quercus suber) forests, in order to improve their adaptation and resilience to climate change and to enhance their prospects both for conservation and for management.

The techniques proposed address the main threats identified i.e., climate change, increased pests and the increased frequency of forest fires.

Specific objectives are as follows:

  • To improve the vitality of cork oaks forests and combat the problems of reduced water availability, while using new forestry techniques to increase the production of cork and associated revenues;
  • To Improve the structure of Quercus suber forests in order to reduce the impacts of fires, using new forestry techniques;
  • To improve the ecological functions and resilience to climate change of degraded cork oak forests, using innovative forestry restoration techniques;
  • To reduce the damage caused by the cork beetle (Coraebus undatus) using appropriate forestry techniques to control its populations and reduce the susceptibility of the cork oak to this pest;
  • To develop forest management tools and make them available to the forest administration, ensuring the integration of climate change adaptation strategies into forest policy, specifically regulations for the Catalonian cork forestry sector; and
  • To disseminate the techniques and tools developed at a local level (forest owners, managers and cork companies) and within the EU countries concerned (Portugal, France, Italy) in order to: a) improve the management of cork oak forests in Catalonia and southern Europe; and b) raise awareness of the problems addressed and demonstrate that a sustainable economic activity based on the management of cork oak forests is the only way to ensure their long-term conservation.

Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results: 1. The implementation of at least four innovative forestry techniques based on: - Integrated forestry management models for improving vitality, cork production and fire prevention; - Forestry models for fire prevention in strategic locations; and - New restoration techniques for damaged oak forests.

2. The implementation of two techniques for the control of Coraebus undatus on 43 pilot demonstration stands; and

3. The development of tools for improved management and decision-making, in order to integrate climate change adaptation into existing regulations and current planning for the local cork sector. These will cover: - Vulnerability models at the Catalonian scale; - A document covering the regulatory aspects in need of modification; and - Technical guidelines with recommendations and measures to facilitate adaptation to climate change.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Forests
Environmental management - Integrated management
Land-use & Planning - Forest management
Risk management - Natural risks (Flood - Forest fire - Landslide)
Species - Plants
Climate change Adaptation - Natural resources and ecosystems


forest ecosystem‚  protected area‚  forest fire‚  decision making support‚  integrated management‚  forestry‚  climate protection‚  forest management‚  pest control

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Consorci Forestal de Catalunya
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description The Consorci Forestal de Catalunya (Forestry Consortium of Catalonia) is a privately-owned, independent association, representing the interests of Catalonia’s forestry owners. Its main goals are: to represent and safeguard the interests of forest owners; to promote sustainable forest management and the harmonisation of the economic, social and environmental functions of forests; to provide technical and legal support and advice to its members, keeping them informed and facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experiences; and to consolidate the structure of the forestry sector.
Partners CTFC(Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya), Spain CPF(Centre de la Propietat Forestal), Spain AFL(Amorim Florestal, SA), Portugal FCSA(Forestal Catalana SA), Spain


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000255
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 30-JUN -2018
Total budget 1,097,039.00 €
EU contribution 547,337.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España)


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