As part of the International Day of Forests, which is celebrated on March 21, the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development, António Ventura, joined a tree planting action, in the municipality of Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira, Azores).

The commemorations of this date, organized by the forestry services of the guardianship, are usually attended by students from different schools, in order to raise their awareness of sustainable forest management and the importance of the Laurissilva forest, made up of endemic species of the region of Macaronesia – Azores, Madeira, Canaries and Cape Verde.

In Azores, the forest supports an economic sector responsible for 1,400 jobs, generating an annual turnover of around 1.8 million euros, through the direct sale of woody material, and 10.9 million euros, when accounted at the level of the industrial sector of the first transformation.

With the current change in the consumption requirements of citizens, the various agents in the forestry sector are “adapting” to a new reality “redefining priorities and aligning new strategies”, as the Regional Secretary, António Ventura, said during the action he participated.

António Ventura also defended that the Forest Management Certification, implemented by the Government of the Azores on the island of São Miguel, is “fundamental in this process”.

This certification guarantees that forest products placed on the market come from responsibly managed forests, which “contributes to counteracting” the scourge of forest destruction at a global level.

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development also mentioned that the forest plays an important role in the “provision of various systemic ecosystem services”, namely in soil conservation, in the regulation and improvement of the quality of water resources, in the conservation of biodiversity, in the landscape maintenance and carbon sequestration.

Source: Revista Agricultura e Mar