This is an outdated, inactive version of this case. Go to the current version.
Technologies
Inactive

Primary strip network system for fuel management [Portugal]

Primary strip network system for fuel management

technologies_1361 - Portugal

Completeness: 78%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Louro António

Aflomação - Forest Association of Mação

Portugal

SLM specialist:

Ventinhas Marta

Aflomação - Forest Association of Mação

Portugal

SLM specialist:

Bragança Nuno

Aflomação - Forest Association of Mação

SLM specialist:

Mariano Inês

Aflomação - Forest Association of Mação

Portugal

Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
University of Aveiro (University of Aveiro) - Portugal
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Aflomação - Forest Association of Mação - Portugal

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

16/10/2011

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Ja

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Linear strips are strategically located in areas where total or partial removal of the forest biomass is possible. This technology contributes towards preventing the occurrence and spread of large forest fires and reducing their consequences for the environment, people, infrastructures, etc.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

There are three types of strip for fuel management in forest areas: primary, secondary and tertiary, defined by the Law 17/2009. The most important differences between them are in terms of size (primary being the widest and the tertiary the narrowest) and scale (primary referring to the district level, secondary to the municipal level and tertiary to the parish level). The primary strip network system for fuel management (RPFGC) is integrated in the National System to Prevent and Protect Forest against Fires and it is defined by the National Forest Authority (AFN).

Purpose of the Technology: The RPFGC aims to re-arrange landscape elements, through the establishment of discontinuities in the vegetation cover, in forest areas and in the rural landscape (for example using water bodies, agricultural land, pasture, rocky outcrops, shrubland and valuable forest stands). Land tenure is private in most of the areas covered by the RPFGC. The main objectives of this technology are: to decrease the area affected by large fires; to enable direct access by fire fighters; to reduce fire effects and protect roads, infrastructures and social equipment, urban areas and forest areas of special value; and to isolate potential fire ignition sources.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: These primary strips are ≥ 125 metres wide and preferably between 500 and 10,000 ha in area. The tree cover should be less than 50% of the area and the base of the tree canopy should not be lower than 3 metres. The RPFGC concept should include the adoption of a maintenance programme. The implementation and maintenance operations can be performed through different agro-forest technologies, such as clearance of bushes and trees, pruning, prescribed fire, harrowing and cultivation of the ground beneath the trees. Timber products can be sold and the removed litter can be used in a biomass power plant or applied to the fields to improve soil fertility, using mulching technology.

Natural / human environment: This SWC Technology needs considerable financial resources in terms of labour and equipment at the implementation phase. Costs, however, undergo considerable reduction thereafter. The implementation of this infrastructure to prevent and protect the land from forest fire is entirely funded by the government and implemented by the forest municipal services.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment

Country:

Portugal

Region/ State/ Province:

Portugal

Further specification of location:

Santarém / Mação

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

(Semi-)natural forests/ woodlands:
  • Selective felling
  • Clear felling
Products and services:
  • Timber
  • Fuelwood
Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

  • Agroforestry
  • Silvo-pastoralism
Main products/ services:

Main species: Goats and sheep.

Comments:

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Forest fires increase due to rural depopulation and to land management abandonment.
Other grazingland: silvo-pastoralism: Goats and sheep.
Selective felling of (semi-) natural forests: Pine.
Clear felling of (semi-)natural forests: Eucalyptus.
Other type of forest: clear felling of (semi-)natural forests: Eucalyptus.
Forest products and services: timber, fuelwood
Constraints of settlement / urban: Proximity of forest to urban areas.
Constraints of infrastructure network (roads, railways, pipe lines, power lines): Ignition sources.

3.3 Further information about land use

Comments:

Water supply: rainfed, rainfed

Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2
Specify:

Longest growing period in days: 1Longest growing period from month to month: 1 per year

Livestock density (if relevant):

1-10 LU /km2

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • natural and semi-natural forest management
  • ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Comments:

Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 400 m2.

There has been some work carried out to develop the secondary system of linear strips for fuel management. These will provide the basis for the implementation of the primary system. The PROF | PIS - Plano Regional de Ordenamento Florestal do Pinhal Interior Sul (Regional Plan for Forestry Management and Planning of the Pinhal Interior Sul) has designated an area of 1752 ha with a total length of 141 km as the contribution to the primary system of fire prevention by the Mação municipality.

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

structural measures

structural measures

  • S11: Others
Comments:

Main measures: structural measures

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bf: detrimental effects of fires
Comments:

Main type of degradation addressed: Bf: detrimental effects of fires

Main causes of degradation: deforestation / removal of natural vegetation (incl. forest fires) (Forest fire frequency and intensity.), Property size (Small pieces of land (< 0.5 ha).)

Secondary causes of degradation: Population density (Ageing population structure and depopulation.)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
Comments:

Main goals: prevention of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Author:

João Soares, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810 - 193 Aveiro, Portugal

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

This technical drawing indicates the technical specifications, dimensions and spacing for the Primary Strip Network System for Fuel Management. The figure shows a road as the axis of the RPFGC, but it can also be a river or a ridge, amongst other breaks in the forest cover.

Location: Portugal. Santarém / Mação

Date: 16/01/2009

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: high

Technical knowledge required for land users: low

Main technical functions: control of fires

Secondary technical functions: reduction of dry material (fuel for wildfires), spatial arrangement and diversification of land use

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):

Euro

Indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (if relevant): 1 USD =:

0.76

Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

18.75

4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Primary System design Structural n. a.
2. Shrubs cleaning + Thinning (reduction of fuel load) + Pruning Structural Dry season
3. Removing the cut waste material Structural
4. Litter Shredding Structural
5. Transport to the Biomass Plant Structural

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Labour ha 1.0 1076.0 1076.0
Equipment Machine use ha 1.0 568.0 568.0
Equipment Transport ha 1.0 100.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 1744.0

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Comments:

The costs calculation was made for the implementation of the first section of the RPFGC. The implementation phase lasted for 2 or 3 months during the dry season. This section included 28 ha and 4 teams of forest sappers were involved.

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The costs include the activities to ensure the vertical and horizontal discontinuity of the fuel load and also the activities needed to manage the waste produced from the shrubs cleaning and thinning.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

The rainfall ranges from 1000 mm in the North to less than 600 mm per year in the South of the municipality.

Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid

Thermal climate class: temperate

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
Landforms:
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • concave situations

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil depth on average is very shallow: Thin and stony terrains
Soil fertility is low
Soil drainage/infiltration is poor
Soil water storage capacity is low

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

medium

Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
Off-farm income:
  • > 50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • groups/ community
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • animal traction
Gender:
  • women
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users
Population density: 10-50 persons/km2
Annual population growth: negative; 2%
50% of the land users are average wealthy and own 50% of the land.
50% of the land users are poor and own 50% of the land.
Level of mechanization is manual labour or animal traction (Small machines are used)
market orientation is mixed (more subsistence than commercial).

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • small-scale
Comments:

Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology: < 0.5 ha, < 0.5 ha, 2-5 ha
Size of forest/ woodland area per hosuehold: 25 plots.

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
Comments:

Individual, not titled: Usually, legal documents for the property are missing.

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
energy:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
telecommunications:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Production

fodder production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Vegetation removal, either by machinery or prescribed fire, produces fresh growth for grazing.

fodder quality

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The new growth provides more diverse and nutritious fodder.

animal production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The low fuel load can be maintained through grazing.

wood production

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Most of the primary system will be implemented in zones of low productivity. However, in some areas tree thinning can cause a decrease in wood production.

product diversity

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Increase of by-products from grazing.

production area

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The use of wood as a fuel for a power station and the use of vegetation to feed the cattle can promote the development of new crops and land uses.
In some areas, the implementation of the primary system can occupy productive land. The main aim of this technology is always to provide protection from forest fires instead of creating productive land.

energy generation

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

After cutting the shrubs, biomass is taken to a plant to energy production.
The cleared ground, on mountain summits, of the primary system is used for wind farms. Cleared vegetation could be used as fuel for a power station.

Income and costs

diversity of income sources

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

The strips will mainly occupy areas of low productivity. The vegetation removed can be used as fuel for a power station. The maintenance of the primary system through grazing will create opportunities in terms of cattle grazing and all the resulting by-pr

Other socio-economic impacts

Costs of implementation

low
high
Comments/ specify:

The implementation of the primary system is very costly.

Maintenance costs

decreased
increased

Socio-cultural impacts

health situation

worsened
improved
Comments/ specify:

Improved air quality by reducing forest fires risk.

cultural opportunities

reduced
improved

recreational opportunities

reduced
improved

community institutions

weakened
strengthened

national institutions

weakened
strengthened

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

reduced
improved

conflict mitigation

worsened
improved
Comments/ specify:

Some forest owners can have some difficulties in accepting the loss of their land to this technology. This can be even more difficult if they have some wood production on such land, so that it represents an income reduction.

Improved livelihoods and human well-being

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

reduced risk of wildfire

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

harvesting/ collection of water

reduced
improved

surface runoff

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Associated with the vegetation removal.

excess water drainage

reduced
improved

evaporation

increased
decreased
Soil

soil moisture

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Associated with the vegetation removal.

soil cover

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

Vegetation removal, either by machinery or prescribed fire, enhances the diversity of the new vegetation cover. In some cases thinning the trees will have a positive effect by reducing the competition for water, sunlight and nutrients and (...)

soil loss

increased
decreased

soil crusting/ sealing

increased
reduced

soil compaction

increased
reduced

nutrient cycling/ recharge

decreased
increased

soil organic matter/ below ground C

decreased
increased
Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

biomass/ above ground C

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Sometimes a loss which is associated with the immediate effects of vegetation removal.

plant diversity

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Vegetation removal, either by machinery or prescribed fire, enhances the appearance of new plants.

invasive alien species

increased
reduced
Comments/ specify:

The fuel load management in the primary system, involving the implementation of good forest practices, including the removal and control of invasive species.

animal diversity

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Vegetation removal, either by machinery or prescribed fire, enhances the appearance of new plants and consequently of new associated animals. The installation of fodder on the strips will promote grazing activities, increasing the number of goats, (...)

beneficial species

decreased
increased

habitat diversity

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

But also increased habitat fragmention

Climate and disaster risk reduction

emission of carbon and greenhouse gases

increased
decreased

fire risk

increased
decreased

wind velocity

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

In some cases, where there is a total removal or a huge reduction in vegetation cover.

Other ecological impacts

Risk towards adverse events

improved
reduced
Comments/ specify:

This technology is an impediment to forest fire propagation and therefore reduces fire risk.

Soil erosion

increased
decreased
Comments/ specify:

Usually, the soil in the areas designated for the implementation of the primary system is thin and poor. The use of machinery and vegetation removal can accelerate the soil erosion processes.

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

damage on neighbours' fields

increased
reduced
Comments/ specify:

Forest area.

damage on public/ private infrastructure

increased
reduced
Comments/ specify:

The technology aims to reduce forest fire frequency and intensity, and the associated damage.

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm not well
local windstorm not well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought not well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:

positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:

positive

Comments:

The maintenance will only start 2 or 3 years after the technology implementation, so no returns are expected at short-term.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

Comments:

Comments on acceptance with external material support: 100% of the technology was implement by local administration, with support from the government.

There is a strong trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: After the implementation period there was a high local acceptance of the technology. It is also expected that grazing activities contribute to the technology maintenance

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Fuel load reduction

How can they be sustained / enhanced? This will be achieved using prescribed fire and specialised machinery. The efficacy of prescribed fire depends on the collaboration of technicians and forest sapper teams. To guarantee the effectiveness of RPFGC implementation, long-term maintenance has to be ensured.
Reinforcement of the forest path system

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Clearing the strips of the RPFGC can enhance the forest track network.
Forest fire prevention and fighting

How can they be sustained / enhanced? The know-how of the local stakeholders and communities will contribute to the design of the RPFGC . This information should be integrated into the Municipal Plans to Prevent and Protect Forest Against Fires (PMDFCI). Any further information should be provided to the Civil Protection Agencies and to the Forest Technical Office and also to the local fire-brigade team.
Increase in landscape resilience

How can they be sustained / enhanced? This will only be effective if the RPFGC is continuous and without gaps. The acceptance of the RPFGC by the landowners is fundamental to widespread the use of this technology. Information and awareness about the need to change vegetation cover is also very important, in order to avoid extensive areas of monoculture.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Soil erosion increase Forestry good practices should be used in the RPFGC implementation, especially concerning the use of machinery and avoiding disturbance of soil at depth. Soil cover after the removal of the existing vegetation should be promoted (by seeding, mulching or creating a low intensity pasture).
Soil cover reduction Soil cover after the removal of the existing vegetation should be promoted (by seeding, mulching or creating a low intensity pasture).
Runoff increase Soil cover after the removal of the existing vegetation should be promoted (by seeding, mulching or creating a low intensity pasture). Excessive vegetation removal should be avoid, especially near water courses where the removal should be nil or minimum.
Budget for implementation and maintenance European and national funds. Collaboration of the local government providing equipment and labour force. Information and awareness to the landowners about the importance of this technology. Campaigns of national awareness and definition of this technology as ‘public use’ to overcome some potential social conflicts concerning the land rights.

7. References and links

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Decree-Law n. 124/2006, 28 June. Official Gazette n. 123 – I series: 4586-4599; Decree-Law n. 17/2009, 14 January. Official Gazette n. 9 – I series: 273-295.

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all

Modules