The Chamber of Pombal will support the planting of native species, within the scope of the Municipal Plan for the Promotion of the Native Forest, to make the municipality more resilient to rural fires.
We are, as everyone knows, a municipality that is severely affected by rural fires every year. Small or large, the truth is that we are always being hit and the main objective of this Plan for the Promotion of the Native Forest is, in some way, to work on prevention and make our territory more resistant and resilient to this type. of catastrophes, namely rural fires,” councilor Catarina Silva told the Lusa news agency.
According to Catarina Silva, who has, among others, the Rural and Forestry Development, and Civil Protection and Security portfolios, the municipality’s objective is to “provide its forest areas with a more resilient forest, more resistant to all biotic phenomena and abiotic”. and so, will use and encourage owners to the cultivation, planting, of autochthonous forest species that, in practice, are characterized by their low flammability and low combustibility”.
In a press release, that municipality in the Leiria region explained that the plan “intends to support the installation and realization of settlements made up solely of native forest species, such as cork oaks, holm oaks, ash trees, holm oaks, alders, strawberry trees, among others.”
This initiative, which intersects with the plans of the Defense of Forests Against Fires and the Municipal Directorate, contemplates, in a first phase, the identification of “the places considered a priority for the installation of these species”, such as the “management of fuels”. lanes within 100 meters of population centers and industrial estates, less than 50 meters from dispersed building areas” or “less than 10 meters from the municipal road network”.
This support will also be extended to beneficiaries interested in converting stands of eucalyptus and invasive woody species”, stressed the Chamber, referring to the fact that the initiative “consists of supporting those interested in technical advice, in the preparation of projects of ( forest re)afforestation (…) and the supply of forest plants, leaving the installation and maintenance operations of the future stand in charge of the beneficiaries”.
The municipality added that the initial proposal provides for global support of 27,000 euros per year, an amount that should allow “reforesting some 300 hectares/year”, and pointed out that, as it is a plan for the 2022-2031 decade, the total budget is estimated. in 270 thousand euros, reviewable”depending on the number of interested parties and the financial availability of the municipality“.
The Municipal Plan for the Promotion of the Native Forest will be presented on Tuesday, International Forest Day and World Tree Day, next to plot 88 of the Mata Nacional do Urso, in the parish of Carriço.
Catarina Silva affirmed that all the work of this plan “will always be led by the Technical Forestry Office”, which will provide support and follow-up to the owners, adding that after its presentation an “intense awareness campaign” will be carried out.
On Tuesday, in that plot, a retaliation action is planned within the framework of the “Reflorestar Pombal” project, which “consists of replacing species that did not adapt (dead), with new plants of the same species in order to guarantee the coverage”. complete liquidation”.
The plantation in this plot, using species of maritime pine and stone pine, in an area of 18 hectares, began and ended at the end of 2022.
This plot was assigned to Pombal by virtue of a collaboration protocol signed with the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests and the Intermunicipal Association of the Leiria Region.
The “Reflorestar Pombal” campaign, launched in November 2022, aims to plant 20,000 trees in four years.