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Fortuna City Council signs an agreement within the framework of the European project 'Life Forest CO2' to reduce the carbon footprint (22/06/2018)

The mayor affirms that agreements and investments like these give a leap in quality to the care and adaptation to climate change of the forest mass of Fortuna

The mayor of Fortuna, José Enrique Gil, along with the councilor of the Municipal Group of the United Left, Rita Sandra Lozano López and the councilor of public forests, José Antonio Toral, has signed an agreement with the representative of Engineers of the Natural Environment, Esteban Jordán , which has the collaboration of the Autonomous Community to develop the European Forest Life program during the coming months, an initiative that adds to the important actions and investments that will be carried out in the public forests of the municipality through the 15% of the Improvement Fund.

'LIFE Forest CO2', has the main objective of promoting forest systems and the sustainable management of forests as a tool for the mitigation of climate change, through the application of the community regulations related to the accounting of emissions and removals of gases greenhouse resulting from activities related to land use and forestry.

The European Union's commitment to forests as a means to achieve the ambitious goal of reducing emissions by 40% by the year 2030 and thus comply with the Paris Agreement, is increasingly firm.

Forestry and forest management are presented in this scenario as key activities to ensure that forests maintain their carbon sink capacity and CO2 sequestration from the atmosphere, estimated at approximately 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions of the total of the EU.

This agreement will therefore require the support and commitment of owners and forest managers, private and public, to comply with the zero debt rule, adopted last May, aimed at Member States guarantee that CO2 emissions derived from the management and use of land are compensated by absorptions within this same sector.

Leading the action in the Region of Murcia is the City of Fortuna, which will work to make Fortuna a more natural municipality and committed to the fight against climate change and the preservation of its forest masses, since as of today, makes effective the collaboration agreement reached between the municipal government formed by the Socialist and United Left Groups and the partners of the LIFE FOREST CO2 project in the Region of Murcia, the Office of Socioeconomic Promotion of the Environment of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia and the consulting firm Ingeniería del Entorno Natural.

This agreement will focus fundamentally on the development of forest management projects focused on the improvement and conservation of the important carbon sinks of the municipality.

Also, as an organization included in the non-regulated or diffuse sectors, the City Council will commit itself to the development of compensation mechanisms for its own carbon footprint.

This agreement will materialize immediately through a first project, which will serve as a pilot experience at the local level with a view to implementing actions for the conservation of the municipal carbon sink and the ecosystem services offered to the public.

The possibilities for the future are especially interesting, since this small municipality of the Region has 7,698 hectares of land of forest nature (52% of its territory), of which, the City Council owns about 3,861 hectares, distributed in 13 municipal forests, with part of them included in the Sierra de la Pila Regional Park.

Specifically, this carbon conservation forestry project will encompass 25.38 of the 388 hectares of the Public Utility Mount No. 61, the Sierra del Lugar, which, in addition to the presence of real gems of biodiversity such as Bonelli's eagle or the eagle owl, it houses the Cortao de las Peñas, a place of geological interest for its high landscape, geological and historical value.

The project, consisting of silvicultural improvement actions, will promote the resilience of forest masses to future adverse events such as fires or pests, as well as the adaptation of these pine forests of Aleppo pine (P. halepensis) to climate change.

Simultaneously, it will not only conserve the existing carbon sink, but also, through the management of forest waste, focused on contributing organic matter to the soil, the increase of carbon sequestered in the long term in long-term warehouses will be favored. the organic carbon of the soil.

Undoubtedly, the development of these future management projects is a great boost for the mitigation of climate change from the local initiative, as they will help to preserve the forest carbon sink of the municipality, estimated at 85 tons of CO2 per hectare, that reaches an approximate total storage of 197,000 tons of CO2 distributed between the fraction of live aerial biomasses (trunk, branches, leaves, etc.), roots, litter and dead wood, as well as in the organic and mineral soil of the more than 2,300 hectares of wooded forested area managed by the City of Fortuna.

The carbon stores managed by this City Council are equivalent to the sequestration of the emissions generated by the filming of 1,400 million kilometers through tourism class vehicles.

Undoubtedly, great news for the environment, and we hope it will serve as a catalyst for the rest of local governments at the regional level to join the fight against climate change in an active way.

The project proposes the improvement of the quantification and modeling of forest sinks, through the development of accurate and low-cost methodologies and models to estimate the biomass and CO2 retained in the aerial systems of the forest stands;

faithfully correlate the carbon dioxide captured in the aerial systems with that stored in the root systems of the tree surfaces;

quantify the amount of dead plant matter available on the forest floor surface, as well as contribute to the knowledge of organic carbon stored in the first 50 centimeters of the forest floor.

The mayor of Fortuna, José Enrique Gil, said that "this agreement will make us more sustainable due to the remarkable size of our municipality and the density of our mountains, aimed at protecting our environment, improving the quality of life of our neighbors and create a high quality tourism brand to attract thousands of visitors through our rich heritage, our wonderful natural diversity, our pleasant thermal water and our spectacular cuisine. "

Source: Ayuntamiento de Fortuna

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