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Launch FUTURECORK, a transformative project for the promotion of the bioeconomy in the national cork sector

start FUTURECORK, a transformative project that seeks the adaptation and optimization of the national cork sector to the current and future ecological, economic and social situation. The challenge is to position Spain on the way to regain world leadership in the cork sector based on innovation, the preservation of biodiversity, the generation of employment and the bioeconomy, with a focus on gender equality and the establishment of population in rural areas.

FUTURECORK has the support of the Biodiversity Foundation from Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) within the framework of Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU. The project is coordinated by the Catalan Institute of Cork Foundation and has the participation of Forestry Consortium of Catalonia, theState Agency Superior Council of Scientific Investigations (ICIFOR, INIA-CSIC), la University of Cádiz, the Extremadura Scientific and Technological Research Center (CICYTEX) and the Confederation of Forestry Organizations of Spain (THING).

 

Context

The sustainable forest management of corks, cork cams and their uses play a relevant role in the face of climate change, rural development and the bioeconomy, in addition to protecting a unique ecosystem such as corks, one of the richest ecosystems in biodiversity of the European Union for its effects as a natural barrier against desertification and forest fires. The rural areas where the cork oak is located face demographic challenges due to depopulation and the lack of generational relief that depopulation generates, migration to urban areas and the abandonment of forests.

With FUTURECORK, the adaptation and optimization of the cork sector to the ecological, economic and social situation is sought through professionalisation, entrepreneurship and the diversification of the sector, the increase of the added value of the cork chain and the dignity of the forestry work through communication and awareness. All this will be worked on with the following specific objectives:

 

  • Fostering the resilience of cork oak mountains to climate change
  • Increase the production and productivity of the cork sector through innovative forestry management plans
  • Encourage professionalization and rural entrepreneurship in the cork sector
  • Diversify the cork sector by taking advantage of the sector's by-products
  • Communicate, raise awareness and disseminate cork as a natural resource of biological origin

 

The project consists of 16 work actions with the corresponding sub-actions that will address challenges such as improving the resilience of cork and its ecosystem services, the valorization of cork products and by-products or the promotion of rural entrepreneurship with gender equality to combat depopulation.

FUTURECORK has a global budget of 1,400,000 euros and will last until December 2025.

 

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