EFI : European Forest Institute
Le réseau pour la gestion durable des forêts cultivées.

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FORSEE : Indicateur évalué

Indicator 3.5 : Forest under management plans
Total area in Sousa Valley: 76706 ha

Forest area in Sousa Valley (2005): 29274,16 ha



255,6 €

This cost include:

1 – Data collection

75,6 €

2- Data analysis

180 €

Data available upon request at the local FOA.


Percentage of forest under management plans by specie


Source: AFVS

Area under management plans per type of forest owner


Source: AFVS


In the North and Centre of Portugal, private forest holdings are mainly of small dimension. Before the afforestation programmes co-funded by the EU, most the forest owners did not follow any formal forest management plan. Only in public forests, communal forest, forest holdings belonging to the pulp and paper industries and the private forest holdings of big dimension were likely to be under forest management plans.

After 1986, the EU co-funded forest programmes allowed the non industrial private forest owners (NIPFO) to benefit from funds to develop actions such as afforestation of forest lands, afforestation of agricultural lands, improvement of forests stands or the prevention of forests against the risk of biotic and non biotic agents. One of the requisites to apply for those funds is to present a forest management plan together with the application form and the documents needed. If the applications are approved, the forest owners have to follow the management plan presented during the period stated in the application form. Taking advantage of the local FOA implemented in Sousa Valley since 1994, the NIPFOs interested on getting funds through those programmes asked the services of the foresters working at the FOA to drew up the forest management plans, to fill the application forms and to provide technical assistance if the applications are approved.

In Sousa Valley, the NIPFOs applied for the following forest programmes:

-Reg. (EEC) 2080/92: active between 1992 and 1994;

-PAMAF: active between 1994 and 1999;

-PDF: active between 1994 and1999

-AGRO: active between 2000 and 2006;

-RURIS: active between 2000 and 2006.

Data presented considers that the area of forest under forest management plans in Sousa Valley is the one belonging to the NIPFO, who applied for the EU-forest funds during the period 1994-2006 with the technical assistance of the local FOA, plus the area belonging to the pulp and paper industries.

This gives about 3,8% of forests belonging to NIPFOs under forest management plans and about 16,7% of forests belonging to pulp and paper industries under forest management plans. The areas together sum about 20,5% of forest under forest management plans in Sousa Valley. According to the local FOA, some forest owners require the drawing of forest management plans without asking EU co-financing but they only represent a very small percentage of the total forest of Sousa Valley (less than 0,5%).

The main species under forest management plans are Eucalyptus globulus (14,2%) and Pinus pinaster (1,3%).

Shortcomings and improvements

Data only reports forest management plans drew up and assisted by the local FOA. Area of forest under management plans belonging to other forest owners who are not members of the local FOA is not reported. However, one of the reasons why NIPFOs became members of the local FOA was to be assisted in the drawing of applications for public funds to plant, manage and improve their forest stands. The local FOA provide them information about the laws, fill the application forms, draw up the management plans and provide them technical assistance in order to accomplish the forest management plan. Based on this, one considers that the NIPFOs who follow a forest management plan are the members of the local FOA and then the underestimation is not significant, which means that data reports almost all the area of NIPFOs under forest management plans.

The indicator can be also underestimated in 3,5% because the area of forest projects for which AFVS database did not have information about its current situation, about 1027,06 hectares, was not considered in the analysis.

In the other hand, forests in Sousa Valley are under a high risk of forest fires and big areas are burnt every year. Due to this agent the area of forest under management plans in 2006 may be overestimated: when a forest belonging to NIPFOs burns, the forest management plan is not followed anymore because of the big efforts needed to recover the area again.

The area of forests under forest management plans, belonging to NIPFOs and to the pulp and paper industries, is being recorded in GIS cartography by the foresters of the local FOA. The digital maps show the distribution of these forest holdings and its characteristics. The map is presented at the FORSEE Data report.

In a coming future, with the implementation of the 5 ZIFs in Sousa Valley (Zones of Special Implementation) a huge percentage of forest is going to be under a forest management plan.

Comments and conclusion

Concerning data availability needed to evaluate this indicator one can conclude that it is available at the local FOA. The information only contains data about the area of forest under the forest management plans drew by the foresters working at this organisation and forest area belonging to pulp and paper industries.

In terms of sustainable forest management, the conclusion is:

a)The percentage of forest under forest management plans is mainly due to the contribute of the pulp and paper industries;

b)The area corresponding to NIPFOs, even completely known is only given the first steps, being far from the objectives of sustainable forest management.

Indicator not considered by Criterion 3 of the Portuguese Norm 4406 2003.

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