i05: MAIS Floresta (MORE Forest) Programme (50 M€)
The MAIS Floresta (MORE Forest) Programme seeks to invest in information and awareness-raising activities to prevent people from engaging in risky behaviour, self-protection programmes for people and infrastructures (expansion of the “Safe Village” and “Safe People” programmes) and, at the same time, increase the operational response capacity by acquiring fire-fighting vehicles, personal protection equipment and other operational equipment to fight rural fires and improve the skills of the people involved in fighting rural fires.
Alongside reforms to the fire prevention and fire fighting system, it is important to emphasise the role of landowner organisations in the management of forests, which is the second aspect of the MAIS Floresta Programme. The aim is to increase state activity in the area, making use of the technical and operational staff of the forestry producers’ associations by establishing programme contracts with around 120 forestry producer organisations with real proven experience in the area. This virtuous partnership with forest owner organisations, which are set up as non-profit bodies, is central to the sustainability of forest resources and the efficiency and competitiveness of the forestry sector, as well as to preserving these associative structures in rural territories, especially at a time of serious economic and social crisis. This goal will be fulfilled by providing important services in the areas of forest management, monitoring and control of harmful biotic agents, prevention of rural fires, implementation of sustainable forest management or forest extension certification processes, through information, awareness-raising, advice and support for forest owners and producers.
It is also necessary to strengthen the partnerships within the Skills Centres directly related to the forestry sector, with the aim of enhancing research, promoting innovation, good practices and the transfer and dissemination of knowledge in this sector, with a view to combating desertification, the sustainable exploitation of resources, ecological balance, nature conservation and the protection of biodiversity, as well as the development of rural territories and the recovery of their products.