Selga – a company part of AFG representing a group of property owners in Spain – became the first entity to effectively use the new FSC Forest Carbon Monitoring Tool (FCM Tool). FSC recently launched this instrument and its user’s manual to help forest managers calculate the tons of carbon stored in their forest. Selga used the tool to prove they restored and conserved carbon stocks in a portion of their management unit, located in a slope of the Pico Sacro forest. This location was declared by the regional government of Galicia as an area of special landscape interest. The company plans to expand the area with verified ecosystem services impacts in the future, with the continuous support of the FCM Tool.
The Pico Sacro Forest: an experimental plot
AFG owns an experimental management unit known as the Pico Sacro forest. It is located in Galicia, a region in the northwest of Spain.
The experimental plot of Pico Sacro is set up as a hub providing educational itineraries and outreach activities to surrounding property owners, technicians and neighboring forest communities. It showcases good forest management practices and their beneficial impacts on ecosystem services. The textile group Inditex sponsored the creation of the plot.
Impacts on ecosystem services
In parallel, AFG signed an agreement with the Association for Conservation of Galician Forest Ecosystems (ACEFGA). The aim is to preserve, maintain and increase forest areas containing carbon stocks and available habitats for species. Under the agreement, Selga used the FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure to verify roughly 3.500 m2 of forests for positive ecosystem service impacts.
The FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure consists of seven steps. Each step helps FSC forest managers show positive impacts of forest practices on ecosystem services. Once an independent certification body evaluates the process, each verified impact results in a so-called “ecosystem service claim”. Forest managers and their sponsors can then use this claim for promotion and communication. Forest managers applying the procedure can also use the FSC FCM tool as a complementary method to estimate the amount of carbon stocks in their forest.
For Xosé Covelo, Selga Technical Director, the FCM Tool was key towards achieving certification, as well as collaborative partnerships between local residents and entities, experts, research centers and specialized institutions.
Positive impact on biodiversity
The project also involved partnerships with biodiversity experts to increase the size and connectivity of important conservation areas, helping preserve some of the most symbolic (and threatened) animal species of Galicia. They now expect to attract crucial sponsorship to replicate this project in other forests.
“We hope that this initiative will truly stimulate and inspire the Galician forest community and other forest managers in Spain to adequately manage ecosystem services,” commented Silvia Martinez, head of Standards Unit and Projects at FSC Spain.
FSC and the consulting firm UNIQUE developed the FSC Forest Carbon Monitoring Tool and its user’s manual, with input from multiple carbon experts. If you are a forest manager or expert interested in its use, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you are interested in sponsoring or partnering with Selga for future projects such as this, please visit the ecosystem services webpage to find out how to get involved. You can also contact Selga directly at email@example.com.