The Government is studying the constitution of a jungle regulator, that is, to give more transparency to the sector, said the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro.
The minister, heard in the parliamentary committee on Agriculture and Fisheries, was speaking after a speech by the communist deputy Duarte Alves, who said that there was no transparency in the price of wood and said that since the 2017 fires there has been a lack of concrete measures to protect the forest, regretting that there is a monopoly in the pulp and paper sector and in the cork sector, which charges the prices it wants.
In response, the minister said that the Government is “studying the constitution of a regulatory body for forests Portuguese” and that he is working “to try to understand what would be the best way to achieve it”.
“We share the concerns about the lack of clarity in pricing and the lack of transparency,” he said, which, he added, undermines the ability of smallholders to be able to develop projects in the forestry sector.
“What we are studying is evaluating the possibility of establishing a forest regulator that can ensure compliance with certain practices to improve transparency“, he clarified.
Also in response to a question from Deputy Duarte Alves about the Leiria National Forest, affected by a fire in 2017, the minister explained that 28% of the burned area was reforested and that the reforestation and reuse of the natural reforestation of another 58 ha . has already been contracted % of area burned. In total, he said, 93% of the burnt area has already been intervened or is in the process of intervention, and 100% of the fuel handling tracks have been completed.
At the same hearing, the Secretary of State for Nature Conservation, João Paulo Catarino, said that the Government is evaluating the possibility of not authorizing new “pellet” factories (pressed wood waste) without an evaluation from the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests. (ICNF), so these fuels do not use quality wood that can be used for other purposes.