Ence and COPADE promote a project that combines forest conservation and contribution to a responsible social development and market

Ence and COPADE (Commerce for Development) collaborate closely to promote a rural development project in Viveiro, one of the representative localities of the forestry sector in Mariña de Lugo. The initiative, called “Alliance for the conservation of the forest through the generation of a responsible market”, aims to extend the methodology of environmental and sustainability certifications to all productive areas of the region, to increase both its quality and marketability criteria as well as the positive impact on the social and economic development of the municipality.

The project is financed by Ence through the Pontevedra Social Plan, and follows the lines of sustainable management of natural resources, the promotion of forest certifications and the fight against the depopulation of rural territories with which the company maintains a firm and determined commitment.

This proposal aims to create a physical space, a mountain in Galicia, that meets the highest environmental and social standards, and that has a clear market focus. Compliance with social and environmental standards is a decisive factor in achieving this market generation, through an increasingly growing demand for sustainable products. An increasingly palpable reality, and even more so in the fight against climate change and in the green recovery after the health crisis.

In addition, the plan will contribute to analyzing the impact that the forest management carried out in this mountain has on biodiversity. This will facilitate the positioning and commercialization of the products obtained from the forest.

The final objective of the project is to protect the natural, cultural and social values ​​of the territory, at the same time that a sustainable economic activity is generated that improves the income of the people who live in that mountain and, therefore, allows to fix population to the town.

The plan includes three technical studies on the environmental impact, natural capital, and the social impact of Viveiro’s production and natural resources. COPADE and FSC® Spain give advice on the different required certifications, Fair Wood, BIO and Local Fair Trade and the certification of forest management and FSC® ecosystem services, respectively; adapting products to consumer demands and connecting producers with the market. Thus, agricultural, livestock and forestry products in the area that meet the required characteristics will have a guaranteed channel for their commercialization. The measurement of the environmental and social impact of forest management on the territory will be carried out respectively by the Global Nature Foundation and USO, and the valuation of natural capital will be carried out by Azentúa.

The project is supported by an APPD (Public Private Development Alliance), where companies such as the ENCE itself, local producers in the area and retailers participate, as well as local administrations, civil associations, foundations, worker representatives and other participants from the region where the harvesting area is located. It is estimated that it has 15,500 indirect beneficiaries.