Spain's Ence, Universidad de Huelva to collaborate on identifying, characterizing biodiversity in company-managed forests as part of effort to assess conservation efforts, determine future management activities
December 5, 2012
The Universidad de Huelva and Ence signed a collaboration agreement in which the University's Department of Environmental Biology and Public Health will identify and characterise the habitats of community interest in the company's forests in the south of the peninsula as a means of quantifying its biodiversity.
The work planned is oriented towards describing the habitats identified from a flora and fauna perspective, assessing the state of conservation of the same and proposing activities or management recommendations for their maintenance and improvement.
The results of this collaboration agreement signed by both institutions will assist Ence greatly in its pursuit of progressing in its commitment to certified sustainable forest management. In fact, of the 63,400 hectares that Ence manages in Andalusia, mainly in Huelva, 80% has forestry certification: around 50,700 hectares of eucalyptus groves and Mediterranean woodland which is managed under the internationally recognised standards and requirements, audited periodically by external accredited companies. Ence applies the same sustainability criteria to all its forests, for the cultivation of mainly wood, cork and biomass.
Within this Andalusian forest, Ence maintains its forestry crops and successfully combines them with around 15,500 hectares of independent wood that it conserves and improves through specific management plans.
Furthermore, the company maintains a catalogue of special features in Forestry Management System described and located geographically. The catalogue includes all the "jewels" of flora and fauna and historical points of interest existing in its forests with their specific conservation plan.
Some of the most notable special features in the Ence catalogue are a 400 year old mastic tree, a one hundred year old holm oaks, nests of valuable species including the black vulture and the black stork, as well as important archaeological remains, such as a prehistoric dolmen or tombs and remains of a protohistoric Celtic settlement. Other special features which share a space with the eucalyptus crop are the essence producing craters from the beginning of the 20th century, mills from the end of the 19th century, mine shafts and an oak 15 metres in height.
This catalogue of special features classified by Ence will undoubtedly grow thanks to the collaboration agreement signed with the Universidad de Huelva.
This move from the company demonstrates its commitment to the sustainable management of its woodlands and the conservation of biodiversity, both of which are compatible with timber exploitation for the production of pulp and the generation of renewable electrical energy through biomass.
Ence, Energia y Celulosa
Ence- Energía y Celulosa, is a company committed to the sustainable development of its environment. It is one of the companies that most stimulates economic growth in the province of Huelva, creating 2,300 jobs, directly or indirectly, of which over 1,000 are in forestry and 1,250 are in industry. Applying sustainability criteria, Ence manages around 63,400 hectares of eucalyptus groves and Mediterranean wood in Andalusia which links it closely to the rural environment where it generates €11 million per year in forestry income.