Participating and collaborating in this project
The Diputació de Barcelona (the Provincial Council of Barcelona) is a public institution of local government committed to citizen’s well-being in the province of Barcelona. Mayors and local councilors from municipalities in the Barcelona Province designed by indirect election rule the institution.
The Diputació de Barcelona offers technical, economic and technological support to local governments to guarantee local quality services within its territorial area. It also coordinates and organizes public services at both municipal level and higher levels of government. The provincial councils, in their role of local government along with town and city councils, come to be the closest and best knowledgeable public administrations to the existing territorial realities and the needs of the citizens.
Environmental protection and sustainable land management are among the key strategies followed by the Diputació de Barcelona. The Provincial Council’s Natural Park Network includes 12 natural reserves of high ecologic, landscape and cultural value. They assure proper land management and environmental balance to 100 municipalities in an area of 102.587 ha that represents 22% of the metropolitan area of Barcelona where up to 70% of the Catalan population lives.
The Diputació de Barcelona has developed a Forest Development Program in order to support municipalities and major forest owners associations in the restoration of burnt areas and the implementation of management measures to reduce forest fuel-volume accumulation and improve forest structure.
This Program is taken into service through the Forest Improvement and Restoration Plans produced by the Diputació together with local governments and forest owners. At present, there are 17 Forest Restoration Plans managed by 17 Forest Owners Associations. One of them is the Association of Forest Owners of Montserrat Surroundings (APFEM), also beneficiary of the LIFE Montserrat project.
The Patronat of Montserrat is an administrative character autonomous entity of the Government of Catalonia, created in 1950, and ascribed to the Department of the Presidency.
Has a legal personality and has its own assets to fulfil its aims: Montserrat Natural park management.
The following institutions form the Board of Trustees:
The reasons for its establishment are based on religious and cultural importance of the sanctuary and monastery and the beauty and uniqueness of the mountain, which have turned this place into an international tourist center.
Moreover, the local authorities that share the territory of the mountain cannot exercise the actions of public authorities required by these circumstances.
The powers of the Patronat of Montserrat are the following ones:
The Generalitat is the institutional system around which Catalonia's self-government is politically organised. The Generalitat consists of Parliament, the Presidency of the Generalitat, Government and other institutions: the Council for statutory guarantees, the Ombudsman, the Audit Office and the Catalan Broadcasting Authority. Municipalities and other local government bodies that may be determined by law also constitute the institutional system of the Generalitat, being the bodies according to which the latter is territorially organised, without prejudice to their autonomy.
The powers of the Generalitat emanate from the people of Catalonia and are exercised according to the Catalan Statute and the Spanish . The Generalitat is administratively organized in different Departments being the Department of Interior the most involved in the LIFE Montserrat project. The Department of Interior is itself divided in different areas, one of which is the Fire Department.
Within the Firemen Department, the GRAF (Forest Actions Support Group) is a specialised unit created in order to deal with major forest fires. The GRAF unit is composed of specialist firefighters and forest technicians with specific training in forest fire analysis and behaviour.
Among their functions, there is to follow fire risk evolution and to decide operational recommendations and scenarios concerning risk coverage. When a forest fire occurs, the GRAF unit is responsible for the operational strategy and the fire suppression actions based on the use of prescribed burning.
They are also in charge of the implementation of the Prescribed burning Programme. Prescribed burnings are useful to reduce the surplus forest biomass in strategic fire confinement areas.
The Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food contemplates various actors in the primary sector linked to land management.
Farmers, ranchers, foresters together with companies in the food industry and forestry are a strategic sector for the country's future and the preservation of the landscape and biodiversity also directly contributing to the maintenance and improvement of the environment in which it operates.
The prevention of forest fires can not be based on independent actions of the people working there, but must be a joint management to look for the maximum synergies with the territory to create a landscape less vulnerable to forest fires, actions with long-term functional means of maintaining the viability of the activity.
The Department has among its responsibilities:
The Association of Forest Owners of Montserrat Surroundings (APFEM) is an entity created with the objective of restoring and improving forest areas within the associated owner’s lands, with specific attention to those that have been affected by forest fires.
The APFEM comprises the land surface of 14 municipalities of the area around Montserrat: El Bruc, Castellbell i el Vilar, Castellgalí, Collbató, Esparreguera, Marganell, Monistrol de Montserrat, Olesa de Montserrat, Rellinars, Sant Salvador de Guardiola, Sant Vicenç de Castellet, Ullastrell, Vacarisses and Viladecavalls.
The APFEM was created in 2004 under the Barcelona Provincial Council’s Forest Development Program as a response to local government’s demands concerning the restoration of forest areas affected by the 1986 and 1994 wildfires. Those are forest areas with no yield expected in the next 25 years so forest management costs could not be afforded by the land owners. The Forest Development Program aims to drive an associated management of these areas as a strategy to get over the owner’s despondency, the lack of management and the forest abandonment.
The APFEM, the Diputació de Barcelona (Barcelona Provincial Council) and the 14 local governments of the area signed a collaboration agreement for the implementation of the APFEM’s Forest Improvement and Restoration Plan. The plan is a framework document where projects and actions to be developed by the APFEM through its annual Programmes get properly defined and detailed. The Plan has a validity of 20 years.
The Plan financial resources are mainly provided by the Diputació de Barcelona and complemented by local governments, the APFEM and other institutions.
* 2014 investments have been made under the LIFE MONTSERRAT project
The Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera is a non-profit legal entity. One of its main aims is the preservation of natural heritage and landscape and local awareness among the population about the need to protect environment. In this field, the FCLP has three main lines of action:
FCLP nowadays contributes to the protection of 4,5% of the area of Catalunya and already has 24 estates as part of its property. As such, the Foundation participates in the sustainable management of 144,096 hectares, which consists of corporate property (acquired for conservation purposes) and property held in public/private custody by means of agreements with the owners of the estates.