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Ponta Delgada ,  February 02, 2011

Fotografia do Secretário Regional da Agricultura e Florestas

Azorean forests are alive

In 2010, the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Forestry authorised the exploitation of about 343 hectares of Cryptomeria forest throughout the Region, producing 129 thousand cubic metres of wood, which represented for the respective owners a gross revenue of 1.8 million Euros and 10.9 million Euros for first processing industries , having generated nearly 1400 jobs.

The information was provided by the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry during the presentation of the programme to celebrate the International Year of Forests that will take place throughout 2011.
 
By joining this international event from this first moment, the Government of the Azores intends to contribute to the dissemination of forests, identify opportunities and threats to their sustainability, and reinforce civic awareness for its numerous benefits.

With the organisation of various initiatives that will take place this year, the Government also aims to foster the spirit of citizenship in the protection of natural resources, promote the active involvement of citizens in the recovery and defence of forests, especially among youngsters, and foster scientific knowledge and technological innovation in the forest sector.

In this context, a challenge was launched to all elementary schools to search for notable trees in the Azores with the purpose of raising the awareness of student for the importance of preserving notable trees, providing them with the knowledge of the botanical richness of their areas so that they may become more attentive to the importance of forests in the Azores.

Moreover, the initiatives to celebrate the International Year of Forest also include a “Tree Parade” during which tree-shaped moulds will be distributed in order to be decorated by students or by other entities interested in participating in this initiative.  Subsequently, the decorated mould displayed on each island where they will be auctioned and the money from the sales will be donated to local solidarity institutions.
 
Throughout 2011, we intend to plant a tree for every Azorean (nearly 250,000), preferably Azorean endemic species, breed with respect for biodiversity in the seedling nurseries of the Forest Services, located on almost every island.

In this initiative, the Government of the Azores counts on the support of village councils to plant trees, redevelop and decorate public places, having also launched a challenge to companies so that they may enhance their corporate assets by involving managers and employees or endorsing afforestation plans for public spaces.

Under these initiatives, all islands will dedicate one day to secondary school students in order to make them acquainted activities associated to the forestry sector, particularly those carried out by engineers and forest rangers,   transporting them to specific practices of the forestry sector, such as measuring and assessment of plots of the regional forest inventory, the preliminary works and the restocking of game, the production of plants in seedling nurseries or the renewal of the forest roads network as well as of recreational forest reserves.

The Azorean Government will move ahead with the drafting of a Forest Management Plan for the Forest Perimeter of São Miguel Island and its Forest Certification as they present themselves management tools of forest areas that determine the space and time when cultural intervention and resource exploitation are to be carried out in order to provide sustainable goods and services, taking into account the activities and the use of the surrounding areas.

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry also intends to launch in 2011 a public call for tenders for the preparation of a Regional Forest Management Plan in the Autonomous Region of the Azores. This document will stipulate the long-term goals and strategies of the regional forest policy.

The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests, thus giving continuity to one of the goals previously stipulated by the International Year of Biodiversity (2010).

In this context, February 2 was chosen to launch simultaneously the International Year of Forests across the world. The Azorean Government, as member of the Executive Committee in charge of this International Year, has joined this event, celebrating it at the Pinhal da Paz Forest Reserve.


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Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

 
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