Network of Cork Oak Selected Stands of Extremadura
Spanish Royal Decree (RD) 289/2003 on the Commercialization of Forest Reproductive Material transposes European Directive 1999/105 EC of the same name. This RD defines the different categories of basic materials, as well as the requirements that must be met to produce forest reproductive materials (FRM). The basic materials authorized in the different regions are collected in the National Registry of Basic Materials. Among the actions that the Junta de Extremadura promotes in this area is the establishment of the Network of selected stands of Extremadura.
This document presents the Network of Selected Cork Oak stands of Extremadura, an initiative for the conservation and improvement of forest genetic resources for the production of cork in Extremadura. Its purpose is to promote sustainable management, taking advantage of individuals with the best characteristics for obtaining cork. The Network is described below, as well as the procedure for registering stands in it.
The Network of Cork Oak Selected Stands allowed the characterization of 63 stands from which to obtain acorn certified as FRM selected for use in the regeneration of Q. suber stands. CICYTEX processes the application for certification of the stands that wish to join the network and verifies that they meet with the requirements of RD 289/2003. Once the basic material has been verified, it is communicated to the Ministry of Agriculture for inclusion in the National Catalog of Basic Materials. Select stands are demarcated populations of trees that have sufficient uniformity in composition and present superior qualities considering a character. The average cork production of the select stand will be superior in quality and quantity to the average in the region of origin. The acorn from the Network of Cork Oak Selected Stands in Extremadura is certified as FRM selected by CICYTEX.
The inclusion of the FRM in this network of select stands has a double aspect. On the one hand, it complies with the mandate of the Spanish Strategy for the conservation and improvement of forest genetic resources, which establishes as one of its inspiring principles the use of improved genetic material in obtaining products. The inclusion of such FRM in the National Registry will not only ensure its conservation, but also its improvement since it is FRM that has been listed for use. On the other hand, the Extremaduran legislation guarantees the use of this improved genetic material by forcing the use of FRM of the “selected” category in all those stands that are the object of aid from the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) or EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) funds, in the forest management measures.
Impacts and weaknesses
Having improved forest reproductive material will allow us to obtain better quality products, making new stands more efficient. Furthermore, the fact that this material has been authorized and included in the National Catalog of Basic Materials implies that improved seed is available for commercialization. Encouraging the use of improved seed is a measure that enhances sustainable forest management, more profitable and efficient stands in the production of forest goods are more sustainable stands.
The inclusion of stands in the network of selected stands of Extremadura is an initiative currently open. CICYTEX is the center that acts as a certifier that the base forest material meets the criteria to be certified as “selected” according to the legislation. This Network is open to new registrations (currently there are two new applications in process).