The Lehendakari opens the Future of Bioeconomy in Europe seminar
Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu, the Basque Premier, opened this morning the Future of Bioeconomy in Europe seminar organised by the European Forestry Institute – EFI and Neiker. This open seminar is part of the Institute’s Annual Conference and is being held in Bilbao.
The Lehendakari stressed that the Basque forestry sector is a “spearheading” industry that employs 5,500 people and has managed to withstand the crisis. Urkullu launched two ideas to drive it. On the one hand, the Basque Government will foster a Basque Country Forestry Certification System Programme. This programme will enable the business, institutional and citizen appreciation of Sustainable Forestry Management to be enhanced. On the other hand, the Government, through the Rural Development Scheme, will earmark financial support for investment, promotion and innovation to develop and transform forestry products.
The Basque Country, a woodland country
The Lehendakari stressed that the Basque Country is a woodland country. In fact, our forests are home to 63 million cubic metres of wood, which means that 55% of the BAC is covered with trees. The Basque forest also continues to grow, specifically by three million cubic metres a year.
European forestry sector
The seminar aims to analyse the changes affecting the European forestry sector.. Those changes are external in origin and mean that societies have to be transformed into a more efficient bioeconomy in the use of resources.
Göran Persson, Chair of the EFI “Think Forest” Forum and the former Swedish Prime Minister, and Professor Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environmental Agency, took part in the seminar alongside the Lehendakari, the Mayor of Bilbao, Ibon Areso, and the Provincial Councillor of Agriculture, Irene Pardo.