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LIFE MONTSERRAT - Integrated silvopastoral management plan: An innovative tool to preserve biodiversity and prevent wildfires

LIFE13 BIO/ES/000094


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Leire MIÑAMBRES
Email: minambressl@diba.cat



Project description:

Background

The project area is the Montserrat Mountain and surroundings in the Barcelona province. The area is mostly forest (64%) and covers 42 487 ha. Montserrat is an emblematic mountain in Catalonia. The mountain and its surroundings are a great natural resource and a significant part of the project area is included in the Natura 2000 network of sites. The mountain is also the location of a cultural, religious and spiritual pilgrimage centre, which is visited by both locals and tourists.

This area, however, has suffered from major forest fires in recent years and the risk of fire remains as a result of fuel load accumulation, the disappearance of crops and the decline of traditional forestry practice. Climate change has also increased the risk of wildfire.


Objectives

The LIFE Montserrat project aims to:

  • Develop ecosystem-based measures to increase the resilience and stability of forests against fires, and to improve the prevention of wildfires in the project area by creating and/or maintaining strategic areas to help prevent the spread, facilitate the extinction and decrease the intensity and extension of wildfires;
  • Contribute to the conservation and improvement of biodiversity in the Montserrat area, with habitats and species of high conservation value included in the EU Birds and Habitats directives. In particular, the project seeks to contribute to the conservation of the 16 threatened species that are found in the project area by maintaining and restoring some priority habitats, and improve the habitat of 121 species protected by the international, national or regional legislation by means of the recuperation of open habitats; and
  • Contribute to biodiversity conservation by increasing connectivity through the creation of a mosaic of scrub, natural grasslands and forests that will link two Natura 2000 sites (Montserrat-Roques Blanques-Riu Llobregat and Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac).
  • In order to meet these objectives, the project will implement, evaluate and disseminate an integrated silvopastoral management plan that will include a specific grazing management plan and a forest restoration plan. This plan will foster the multifunctionality and services of ecosystems. The total area covered by the project is 2 782.5 ha.

    A local community awareness campaign will also be undertaken and results will be publicly disseminated.

    Expected results:

  • Promotion of the resilience and stability of forest of community interest (habitat 9540);
  • Reduction of the fuel volume in strategic areas by grazing: diminishing 80% of fine combustible on 2 782.5 ha;
  • Minimised risk of forest fires by maintaining a mosaic type landscape;
  • Reduction of the costs of fire extinction;
  • Reduction of wildfire recurrence;
  • Increased stakeholder awareness and involvement. More than 80 land stewardship contracts signed, 220 grazing permits awarded and 10 Livestock farmers engaged;
  • Recovery of open habitats 6220* and 6420 among others;
  • Recovery and/or of mantaining abandoned farmland habitats: 246 ha. (126 abandoned olive tree plantations that can be immediately pastured; 120 ha of abandoned farm land that can be immediately pastured);
  • Increased survival rate and breeding success of Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata);
  • Increased number of threatened species (Alectoris rufa; Circus pygargus, Clamator glandarius, Corvus monedula, Neophron percnopterus, Oenanthe leucura, Streptopelia turtur);
  • Creation of a mosaic of scrub, natural grasslands and forests that will link two Natura 2000 sites;
  • Conservation and improvement of landscape quality;
  • Enhanced functionality of the ecosystems as connectors (diminishing fragmentation, enhancing permeability and migration; and
  • Increased the surface area and health of mosaic ecosystems.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Habitats - Forests
Risk management - Natural risks (Flood - Forest fire - Landslide)


Keywords

fire protection‚  protected area‚  forest fire‚  cultural heritage‚  integrated management‚  management plan‚  mountainous area


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Diputació de Barcelona
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description The public authority of the Barcelona province is responsible for overseeing the functions of all the town councils and ensuring its citizens receive high-quality municipal services. It also in charge of environmental protection and sustainable land-use management. Its forestry development programme aims to support municipalities and the main forest-owner associations with the restoration of areas that have been burnt, as well as the management of forests to reduce threats to wildfire. Currently, 12 forest restoration plans are managed by forest owner associations. One of these is the association of forest owners of the Montserrat district (APFEM), a member of the project consortium.
Partners APFEM(Associació Propietaris Forestals Entorns de Montserrat), Spain PATRONAT(Patronat de la Muntanya de Montserrat), Spain FCLP(Fundació Catalunya- La Pedrera Fundació Especial), Spain GENCAT(Generalitat de Catalunya), Spain

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Project reference LIFE13 BIO/ES/000094
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 30-JUN -2018
Total budget 3,561,825.00 €
EU contribution 1,763,000.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website

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