After the approval of the Governing Council, the Regional Government of Extremadura (Junta de Extremadura) has commissioned the company Tragsat to develop Extremadura Forestry Plan. The budget for preparing the plan is 382,000 euros.
This plan, which must be delivered in 21 months, is the basic instrument for long-term strategic planning of Extremadura's forestry policy and for sustainable forest management in the region. It will be integrated into the strategy for the mitigation of climate change and the fight against depopulation. Once approved, it will replace the 2003 Forest Plan (revised in 2010) and will be complemented by the Spanish Forest Plan and the Spanish Forest Strategy, which is currently under review.
The new plan will include data from the new Forest Map of Spain and the Fourth National Forest Inventory, recently carried out for Extremadura, which will provide an opportunity to update knowledge of the state of forest vegetation in the region.
The document will take into account the substantial changes in forest policy in the region and worldwide, with increasingly larger fires or with the growing interest in new productions, such as biomass for thermal or energy use and the development of the bioeconomy of non-timber forest products (cork, resin, pine nuts, mushrooms...). All this coupled with ever-increasing depopulation of rural areas, have a special impact on forest regions, like Extremadura.
For all these reasons, the regional Ministry for Agriculture considers it essential that this new Forestry Plan integrates technical, social and environmental proposals and that it results in a series of action programmes for the different areas of the forestry sector. The plan and its action programmes should analyse and propose guidelines, strategies, initiatives, measures and actions, budgets, deadlines and relevant sources of financing, while taking into account society's objectives.
Rural areas in Extremadura have potential to offer solutions to future energy challenges.