Guide to the application of the territorial contract for resin tappers, an innovative institutional support formula for the natural resin sector
Resin workers can carry out agroforestry activities that are compatible and complementary to their main activity. Besides, resin tappers generate indirect benefits for society through their role in forest conservation, fire protection and mitigation of rural depopulation among other positive effects.
The figure of the territorial contract allows the public administrations to propose to the resin tappers the remunerated execution of complementary activities in benefit of the sustainable development of the rural areas and the payment for recognized positive externalities they generate.
The autonomous resin tapper trade is precarious due to factors such as the seasonality of the activity, the fluctuation of resin prices, some resination campaigns are even below the profitability threshold, and the difficulty of accessing complementary sources of income.
To support the sustainability of the resin tapper job, this guide proposes a model of territorial contract tailored to this group of workers, which can be used by public administrations to supplement their income through the remuneration of specific commitments and recognition of the positive externalities generated.
The technical guide, aimed at regional and local administrations, offers guidelines and directives for the implementation of the procedure for signing territorial contracts - bases and calls for tender - and on the administrative structure required for the management of the territorial contract to support the resin tapper activity.
The document, prepared taking into account the opinion of sectoral experts from both the public administration and the private sector, offers a catalogue of possible commitments that can be assumed by the beneficiary resin producers, as well as the possible considerations that the public administration can offer. It also indicates the possible means of financing the territorial resin contract.
The territorial contract is an opportunity for the administrations, not only to support the resin workers, but also to configure a forestry labour profile based on the multifunctional use of the forest, and the generation of positive externalities within the framework of the Community strategy for sustainable development.
The public administrations must understand the importance of stimulating a forestry labour model in which the worker balances his sources of income by carrying out complementary activities related to various agroforestry resources.
In contrast, a professional profile based on resin monoculture is very exposed to failure and a socio-professional crisis due to external economic factors.
Impacts and weaknesses
The implementation of the resin tapper territorial contract:
- Would generate a sustainable and quality forest employment niche.
- Would protect resin workers from the fluctuations of the international market.
- Would strengthen the supply capacity of the European resin industry.
- Would contribute to mitigating the phenomenon of rural depopulation.
- Would allow progress to be made in achieving the objectives of the European Strategy for Sustainable Development.
The weakness of this tool is that it is only valid if decision-makers and public administrations are involved in comprehensive support for the resin sector with an institutional strategy for the sustainability of the resin trade in rural areas, with low media impact.
The guide has been written taking as a reference the Spanish legislation on territorial contracts. The authority to implement the territorial contract in Spain lies with the regional governments. The latter should proceed to implement this system, without forgetting that the territorial contract would potentially also be applied by local entities.
An extension of the reference guide should address the possible adaptation of this territorial contract scheme for resin tappers in other European countries with a resin tradition such as France and Portugal.