Palencia Model Forest was formally inducted into the International Model Forest Network, as a candidate-member during the Mediterranean Model Forest Network annual regional meeting, this last 21 March, in Agadir, Morocco.
With over 4000Km2 and comprised of 92 municipalities, this landscape borders the Palentina Mountain Natural Park to the north and the Camino de Santiago, a world-renown pilgrimage route, to its south. The topography is one of transition between lowlands and mountains, where valleys and moors, along with pine forests, are common features.
Led by the University Institute for Sustainable Forest Management (Instituto Universitario de Gestión Forestal Sostenible), the Smart Forest Foundation and the Group of Businesses for a Sustainable Palencia (Agrupación de Empresas por la Sustentabilidad de Palencia), this week’s event, on the margins of the 5th Mediterranean Forest Week, is the latest step in a process that began 2 years ago.
“There is a great need for this type of initiative in and around Palencia,” said Pilar Valbuena, one of the founding members. “We are taking the time we need and studying lessons from elsewhere in the IMFN to ensure local support as well as long-term sustainability of the Model Forest.”
Stakeholders in the Palencia Model Forest are local municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, the University of Valladolid, members of Spanish Parliament and the local autonomous government (Junta) of Castilla y León.
Palencia Model Forest’s priorities include a living and integrated landscape geared toward youth and local sustainable economic development, forest resources as job-sources on its territory, mycology, and forest landscape restoration.
In support of these priorities, activities optimizing forest resources, protecting and improving the environment, training in new technologies, and a focus on innovation are being explored, along with promoting eco-cultural tourism.
For more information: http://bosquemodelopalencia.org/