Large forestry project in Extremadura

by Lorraine Williamson
forestry project
ASSSA

In the pursuit of a sustainable economy, increased biodiversity, and reduced CO2 emissions, Spain is seeing a rise in new initiatives. A major forestry project in Extremadura appears to be a successful step towards a more sustainable world.

Last year, the Spanish energy company Iberdrola established Carbon2Nature, a program aimed at storing CO2 in natural reserves like forests. Carbon2Nature aims to develop global projects for the conservation, management, and restoration of numerous ecosystems. They focus on reforestation and sustainable management projects, including eleven projects currently active in Spain alone, such as a pilot project to reduce methane emissions in the livestock industry.

Large-scale forestry project over 50 years

Recently, the La Vera Carbon2Nature project was unveiled in the Extremadura region near the Portuguese border. This project will take place in Dehesa Boyal, located in Jaraíz de la Vera, Cáceres province. It stands as Spain’s largest forestry project, a collaboration between government and private sectors.

This is the first project of its scale to be executed over a 50-year period in a public forest area. The project will manage 1,499 hectares of land and involve planting over 700,000 trees on 467 hectares of degraded land, capable of absorbing approximately 186,000 tons of CO2.

Forest transformation plan

Through this initiative, Carbon2Nature aims to restore and preserve the valuable ecosystem of Dehesa Boyal. A forest transformation plan has been devised to enhance biodiversity in the area. In addition to reintroducing common tree species like holm oaks and cork oaks, new species will be introduced. Pinus pinaster, a large coniferous species, will serve as a transitional species. Other accompanying species such as oaks, hawthorns, ashes, chestnuts, and olive trees will also be planted.

In addition to conserving and managing crucial natural habitats, the forestry project also creates employment opportunities in the region. Furthermore, it provides extensive opportunities for livestock grazing. Additionally, the land can be used in the future for hunting, recreation, and cultural purposes for the local population.

Ambitious objectives

According to Agustín Delgado, Director of Innovation and Sustainability at Iberdrola, the initiative in Extremadura represents a way to “restore and even enhance our ecosystems through innovation and sustainable long-term management with large-scale projects that contribute.”

Carbon2Nature has two main objectives: achieving net-zero emissions across all sectors by 2040 and making a positive impact on biodiversity by 2030.

Also read: New opportunities for nature restoration in Spanish forests

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