Field trip to ENCE, Sunday 7 September 2014
Rob Ukkerman · Forest Stewardship Council

A group of 16 people joined the field trip on Sunday to Energía y Celulosa (ENCE). Most were representatives from forest plantations, paper and pulp companies from Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Indonesia, Japan and Portugal, with others representing governments from China and the Republic of Congo, and the social chamber.

zoom (© FSC A.C.) © FSC A.C.ENCE has eucalyptus plantations for the production of pulp and biomass. These plantations are spread out in natural forests where cork is harvested from cork oaks and bees are kept for honey. The first visit was to plantations in a natural reserve where 50–60 percent of the land was set aside for its high conservation value (HCV), including pre-Roman settlements that were visited. ENCE holds a group certificate which includes forest management units (FMUs) owned by ENCE and a large number of smallholders in the northwestern and southern parts of Spain.

Mr. Luis Javier Sanchez, who is responsible for FSC certification within ENCE, remarked that:

zoom (© FSC A.C.) © FSC A.C.ENCE is the main private forest owner in Spain and also the one that dedicates the highest percentage area for conservation, including 3,600 hectares in distinct levels of protection: protected natural areas, Special Protection Area (SPA) and Site of Community Importance (SCI).

Social chamber member Maria Tysiachniouk found the ENCE company very hospitable and open in its explanation about their policies, practices and FSC processes. She was impressed by how tensions were managed with stakeholders like Greenpeace, WWF and Spanish environmental NGOs, which in 3 years became a platform for negotiation and consultation–dialogue about practices in the forest. The visitors were told that the company was pushing local communities and small forest owners in coordinated action toward more sustainable and multiple use of the forests.

After a lunch in a traditional Huelvan restaurant the group visited Ms. Rocio Acosta, the owner of a forest that has another FSC group certification. She is also Board member of FSC Spain. Ms. Acosta’s forest yields a mixture of eucalyptus wood for pulp, nuts from pine, cork from the cork oak and honey. As the forest is located near the boundaries of the Coto de Doñana national park there are certain restrictions in the land use and special care has to be taken for species like the Iberian Lynx, which sometimes crosses the park boarders to hunt rabbits in the neighboring areas.