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Ponta Delgada ,  October 06, 2009

Government promotes certification of Azorean forest

The Government of the Azores is working to achieve the certification of the Azorean Forest, a process that has been already presented to the forest producers and businesspeople and to the Portuguese Society of Forestry Sciences.
The information was provided by the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry who presided over, on behalf of the President of the Government, to the opening session of the 6th National Forest Conference which will take place in Ponta Delgada.
According to Noé Rodrigues, this project will proceed as “it will be an element that will substantially improve the quality of forest production in the Azores, hence the Azorean Government is already taking care of all the details regarding the support and preparation of the contract specification for the certification process.
The Regional Secretary reminded at the event that forest in the Azores covers an approximate area of 71,500 hectares, which corresponds to an average afforestation rate per island of 31%.
Although there is no clear boundary between what one may consider as production forest and protection forest, given the nature of local soils, climate and the region’s topography, which represents 31% of the Azorean forest area and plays an important role concerning the protection of the Azorean forest.
The area of natural forest, which occupies 69% of the total forest area, is commonly known as Laurisilva (Laurel forest) and it is where the Natura 2000 Network and various Forest Reserves are located.
In turn, the production forest, planted in both public and private areas, is mainly composed by Japanese tsugi pine, acacia, eucalyptus, maritime pine and by Persea indica (lauraceous tree), among other forest species.
Under the Community support frameworks II and III, nearly 1,796 hectares have been reforested and 390 hectares of forest have been benefitted. Moreover, 1,626 hectares of marginal agricultural land have been afforested at the same time, thus reinforcing the productive component of the Azorean forest.
With regard to the current Community support framework, under the PRORURAL programme, 31 applications related to afforestation projects have already been submitted with a proposed investment of over two million Euros, comprising a 426-hectar area.
Noé Rodrigues also stressed that “the forest’s value is far beyond the companies created or the employment generated. It is an inseparable part of the typical Azorean forest, which is fundamental to the preservation of our natural and environmental resources, playing an important role in the spatial planning of our territory and in some cases in the protection of agricultural crops.”
Furthermore, the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry praised the organisation of this event which, in his opinion, represents a good opportunity to disseminate the Azores and the competence of those who work in the forestry sector, in a context of global change regarding plant production techniques and reforestation operations, in order to maintain the sustainability of the forest in terms of biodiversity, environment and of climate change.


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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