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Forest Stewardship Council ®FSC ® InternationalWOOD PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION IN SPAINJanuary 2013This case is about Asociación de Productores de Maderade Cerdido (PROMACER) in Spain, a wood producersassociation that obtained FSC group SLIMF certificationin August 2012. The average size of the managementunits is 7 ha, which is divided into small plots with anaverage size of 0.2 ha. Almost all of the area is plantedwith eucalyptus. The FSC group structure is based onstructure of the association, which has made it easier toattract group members. FSC group management providesenvironmental and social benefits for the smallholderslike maintenance of riversides, monitoring of alloperations, and new technical training.BackgroundPROMACER is situated in Galicia, in the northwest Spain.Galicia has 2 million ha of forest land, making it thepredominant area of Spain for forest industry. In woodedareas, the species distribution is roughly 42% deciduoushardwood, 38% softwood and 21% eucalyptus plantations.Most of the forest land is private property held in smallholdings that are passed down through family inheritance. Theforests are mainly a source of complementary income andsmallholders who are active in theif forests are often retired.These forest managers need support to achieve a high levelof professional silviculture. They also need help organizingthemselves for market access and forest certification.OrganizationPROMACER was created to improve product distributionby organizing volumes from their members and negotiatingfor better prices. Each PROMA has an area of activity thatnormally amounts to a municipality. Product sales are openand each member can establish contacts with markets thatinterest them.PROMACER is also the group manager for the FSC groupcertificate. The group structure is very flexible because eachmember is responsible for the forest management in theirown FMU. PROMACER coordinates, advises, supervises andis an external representative that handles the contact to thecertification body and other stakeholders. They provide a vitalservice that helps each member benefit from certification whilenot shouldering the cost and responsibility all by themselves.Not all members are part of the FSC group certificate, but it isexpected that all members will join the certificate in the comingyears.Forest planningFor PROMACER, one of the biggest challenges has beento create a management system, including annual annuallogging plans for the group and management plans for eachgroup member. They have crafted their system with a balancebetween the member’s responsibilities and interests, and thedemands of certification. PROMACER helps their membersaccess certification while maintaining their own practices,which makes it easier for members to get involved.PROMACER finds that monitoring is the core business ofgroup management. As it is difficult to collect data from allthe small plots, they study the risk of major non-conformitiesto segregate information that could be critical from otherinformation that is less relevant. Their strategy is to accept acertain level of uncertainly and vagueness from members atfirst, but to improve data collection over time.FACTSCertificate detailsRA-FM/COC-006030, for group of SLIMF’s, issued forround wood on 9 August 2012Area532 ha in 2012Membership68 members in 2012QuantitiesEucalyptus production: 21.000 m3 of green eucalyptuswood a year (25.000 ton)Expected annual turnover: 900.000 € approx.Photo credits: PROMACERFSC International • Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße 5 • 53113 Bonn • GermanyPhone +49 (0) 228 367 66 0 • Fax +49 (0) 228 367 66 30 • •

Thus, their management system is designed as a continuousimprovement cycle where they strive to reduce uncertainlyyear after year. As a consequence, their long term objectivesfor the group are well articulated but not well quantified yet.Over the coming years, the management plans will includemore and more data collected in field visits, creating a clearerlong-term picture.Communication with membersPROMACER trained their members in the basic principlesof certification, FSC requirements and field performance.Members are responsible only for their management unit, so thecohesiveness of the group rests on them understanding theirrole as group members. The association works hard to reiteratethe message that what happens in each FMU affects the wholegroup and its certification. For example, in the template formanagement plans, PROMACER details the activities thatshould be carried out in each FMU.Results so far> Timber prices have increased, which should motivatesmallholders with plots adjacent to certified areas to join theFSC group.> Some members have had to ”sacrifice” some plantation areasto environmental restoration, which unsettles some smallholderswho are thinking of joining the group.> Management costs consume a high percentage of the priceincrease, so members want to see more financial benefit.> the PROMAs are now stronger, have better contact withstakeholders, and improved communication with publicauthorities. Members are more active in their associations.> Environmental standards have resulted in protection ofriverine habitats, and increased knowledge of invasive species,protected species and the relevant legislation.Challenges> With an average size of 0.2 ha per plot and 7 ha on averageper owner, data collection and long-term planning are difficult.There was no standardized planning system for this kind ofFMU before certification. The plots are spread out across thelandscape, adding to the data collection challenge.> Monitoring members involves a great effort during their firstyear, but with continuous improvement it should get easier.> Collecting ownership and forest inventory data via GIS andcreating databases involved significant effort and cost> The advanced age of most forest owners, lack or poorimplementation of forestry practices and lack of managementwas also a challenge. PROMACER had to develop a new forestmanagement group model. They also had to devise a way totransmit new ideas and show results in the short-term whileseeking long-term economic viability.Lessons Learnt> FSC is a driving force of change in forest management ofsmallholder groups in the medium and long term> Social sensitization and training is essential for FSC groupviability. Training should include topics like FSC certification,group management, national laws, markets, etc.> A key is also to leverage existing structures (in this casePROMAS) with field experience and local knowledge to makeviable long-term groups. These structures need also strongleadership and local recognition to appear trustworthy for allmembers.> Management rules should be discussed and approved byMembers, and not imposed just for technical reasons.The FutureThe main challenge lies in maintaining the system. ThePROMACER group will try to get new members and make itmore accessible and attractive to get certified. Furthermore, thesystem will be computerized and staff will be trianed to operateat a high-level of professionality.Thanks to the high demand for FSC-certified eucalyptus there isa growing number of smallholders seeking to join PROMACER’sFSC group. This is very positive because the distribution ofplots will be more continuous across the landsape, making iteasier to facilitate good forest management, conservation, andrestoration both within each unit and for the group as a whole.CONTACT DETAILSPROMACERLg. de Porto, s/n.A Barqueira, Cerdido,A Coruña 15569, Spainwww.promacer.orgINEVARogelio Gonzalez TatoMail: ineva@ineva.esTlf: +34 - 670252936www.ineva.esASEFORMail: manuelbeiro.asefor@gmail.comTlf: +34 - 673695281www.asefor.euInformation provided by Rogerio Gonzalez TatoFSC International • Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße 5 • 53113 Bonn • GermanyPhone +49 (0) 228 367 66 0 • Fax +49 (0) 228 367 66 30 • •

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