A new project will improve forest areas of the Prades Mountains to curb the effects of wildfires and boost the local bioeconomy

12 March 2024

“Rumiar” will create an agroforestry mosaic with the delimitation of strategic areas to act as a firewall based on sustainable forest management founded on silvopasture

The “Rumiar” project will improve forest areas of the Prades Mountains to preserve this space of great scenic value from wildfires and, at the same time, explore and enhance various forms of economic activity in the area based on the resources generated by the forest. The project, coordinated by the Diputació de Tarragona with the participation of the Forest Science and Technology Center of Catalonia (CTFC), the Catalan Federation of Associations of Forest Owners and Owners (BOSCAT), the Pau Costa Foundation and the Conca de Barberà Business Initiatives Center (Concactiva), has a budget of 2.1 million euros, 95% of which is financed by the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Change (MITECO), within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, financed with European NextGerationEU funds.

“Rumiar”: The agroforestry mosaic in the natural space of the Prades Mountains foresees the creation of an agroforestry mosaic in 319 hectares of forest in 8 municipalities (Mont-ral, Montblanc, Vilaplana, Cornudella del Montsant, Alcover, Capafonts, Alforja and La Riba) to promote the diversity of landscapes so that they are more resilient to wildfires and serve as a firewall in case of fires. This mosaic has been designed taking into account areas marked as strategic, approved and agreed by the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda in collaboration with the Fire Brigades of the Generalitat. For the maintenance of this agroforestry mosaic, the Rumiar project plans to use silvopasture, that is, grazing with herds of goats for the clearing of the undergrowth, and also forest management work with specialized professionals trained in this field. Based on these two activities, the “Rumiar” project aims to take advantage of the potential of the forest and promote the local bioeconomy in a global area of about 37,000 hectares that cover 22 municipalities in the Priorat, Conca de Barberà, Baix Camp and Alt Camp counties.

With the practice of silvopasture, the objective is to promote the livestock sector, a profession already present in the Prades Mountains, with the creation of new agri-food products. In this way, the project plans to improve the conditions of the existing shepherds and attract more. In terms of forest management work, new professional profiles will also be required. In this sense, according to the project, 8 people will be hired and trained who will receive specific training as “forest workers.”

Both forest and sustainable forest management are expected to generate a positive impact in the area, with the increase of activity and ingraining in the Prades Mountains, one of the main natural resources of the demarcation that will be converted into a Natural Park.

“Rumiar” was presented at a press conference at the Bofarull Palace of the Provincial Council in Reus. The event was attended by the president of the Provincial Council, Noemí Llauradó, who was accompanied by the deputy delegate of Energy Transition of the Provincial Council, Carme Ferrer, and the deputy delegate of European Projects of the Provincial Council, Josep Baiges. During her speech, the president of the Provincial Council, Noemí Llauradó, said “With this project, we manage sustainable forests, reduce the risk of fires, create professions and fight depopulation. We are looking for a better future for the area with the creation of this agroforestry mosaic.”

The event was also attended by the managing director of BOSCAT; Jordi Terrades; the head of the project Ramats de Foc of the Pau Costa Foundation, Marc Arcarons; the head of the Multifunctional Forest Management program of the CTFC, Míriam Piqué, and the Minister of Economic Promotion of Concactiva, Moisès Ferrete. Each of these partners explained the actions and involvement in the project.

During her intervention, Piqué defined the project as “integrating, complex and attractive, since it integrates many areas of forest management and also integrates people: shepherds, forest owners, managers, and all municipalities”.

“Rumiar” has already begun to be executed in the Prades Mountains, with the first work on the ground, specifically with the identification and characterisation of the areas of risk of forest fire where the project will be carried out. The project will be completed in December 2025.

The agroforestry mosaic in the natural space of the Prades Mountains is supported by the Biodiversity Foundation Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU.

Last modified: 13 March 2024