HOST COUNTRY FORESTS, FOREST PRODUCTS AND FORESTRY
Forests and the forest sector have a high economic, environmental, social and cultural relevance in Portugal. Forests occupy 3.4 million ha (38% of the country) with three main species, maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), cork-oak (Quercus suber) and eucalypt (Eucalyptus globulus) that represent 75% of the forest area.
The forest industry accounts for 3.2% of the national PIB and 12% of the Industrial PIB, represents 11% of Portuguese exports and generates about 260,000 direct and indirect jobs. The cork and wood supply four major industries: cork, pulp and paper, wood boards and panels, timber industries and furniture.
Portugal concentrates 33% of the total world cork-oak area and is the world leading producer of industrial cork products and the major international supplier. In Europe, Portugal is the 5th largest producer of chemical pulp (with a share of 6.3%), the 14th largest producer of paper and paperboard (1.7% of total) and the 2nd in production of wood-free coated paper (10.7%).
The multi-functionality of Portugal’s forests translates in a wide range of products and resources, such as hunting, fishing, forest-grassland, production of mushrooms, dried fruits, wild plants and medicinal herbs, honey, as well as support for nature tourism, or socially valued externalities that may build new business areas such as carbon sequestration.
Forest and forest products research is strongly developed in Portugal, anchored in Universities and R&D centres, and focusing on national relevant issues but also on the leading international scientific themes related to forests and associated ecosystems and on forest products and forest-based services.