Even before it has been published, Spain's forthcoming national forestry strategy has been roundly criticised by Greenpeace, the Coordinating Council of Environmental Protection Organisations (CODA) and the Native Woodlands Recovery Association (ARBA). The organisations claim that the environment ministry's strategy is "incoherent," takes too little account of sustainability goals and has been made hostage to Europe's needs for cheap timber, which will require the planting of some 5m hectares in the near future. If current patterns of forest exploitation continue, 70% of this area is likely to be in Spain, France and Poland. The organisations want to see an end to monospecies plantations of pine and eucalyptus which they regard as a pure extraction of raw materials ignoring environmental, social or even economic costs. This philosophy should be replaced by the cultivation of a wider range of native species in forests that will be managed with due respect to the principles of biodiversity and sustainability, the groups say.
Greenpeace Spain, tel: +34 1 444 1400; CODA, tel: +34 1 531 2739; ARBA, tel: +34 1 314 0123.
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