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1 DRAFT resolution No. 201/X "DEFEND the MOUNTED, valuing the ROW of CORK" explanatory memorandum 1-Portugal position in the Cork sector worldwide shows our history, that already in the 14th century there were exports of Cork, and date back to the 13th century Cork protection laws Today, the Cork business sector places our country in a top spot worldwide , with about 54% of production, and about 70% of the total world transformation.
Cork transformed to the country about 90% is exported, representing revenue of around 850 million euros annually, approximately 2.7% of total national exports.
In the business plan, the Cork sector means around 900 processors, while the employment plan represents about 12 to 14000 direct manufacturing jobs, and about 6500 seasonal jobs in the extraction and other forest operations.
It should be noted, however, that the position that global summit the Country currently holds in this area is the final remnant of a situation inherited, but rather the result of a response from the corporate sector, especially in the last four decades.
Indeed, a country essentially producer and exporter of raw Cork, until the 60, Portugal spent, in a short space of time, turning virtually every Cork produced and even some imported.
2 This remarkable evolution was the result of a commitment to technological innovation in the production process, with reflection on improving the quality of corks and in new products, but also on the modernization of management and a strong entrepreneurship in the sector, while companies adjusted to the logic of globalization, which implies ability to respond to a market in constant evolution and increasingly demanding.
1.2-Do umbrella the National forest inventory, recently featured, evidenced that in terms of pure stands, dominant and young mixed, the Cork oak in 2005/6 it occupied, the first place in terms of national forest areas, with 736,700 ha, followed by the pine tree with 710,600 ha, and the eucalyptus with 646,700 ha.
By regions, the Cork oak is the first forest species in NUT II-Alentejo, with 71.6%, on NUT II-Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, with 21.2%, and on NUT II-Algarve, with 3.86% of the total.
Although the area occupied with cork oak forest has grown over time, your current Summit position derives from the devastating effect caused by fires in stands of maritime pine, which saw your geographical distribution decrease of 976,100 ha for 710,600 ha, only a decade.
But the assembled the Cork is not simply a forest producer area of raw materials, Cork. In reality, constitutes a complex economic and social system, which has contributed to the establishment of the rural population. Thousands of small producers obtain, in addition to the extraction of Cork, additional income with creation or fattening of Iberian black pig, cattle and sheep, hunting, harvesting mushrooms or herbs, production of honey and medronho brandy. The Cork oak is still home to a unique fauna and flora, with protected species.
If the species of pine suffered the tremendous impact of forest fires on the Cork oak weighs a threat no less devastating: a set of diseases and of various factors that is causing the weakness of cork oaks, worrying levels of mortality, as well as a decline in the yield of your production, which so far has no known reassuring solutions to forest producers.
2-the use of Cork Cork meets today, a variety of uses, ranging from the production of corks (68%), construction (15%), automotive industry (7%), and others, including the fashion and the aerospace industry, a total of 10%.
3 indeed, it is a secular, historically documented reality, the strong relationship between the production of Cork and wine production.
The World wine market is still dominated by Europe, which holds about half of the world area of vineyards and consumes about 72% of the total production. The existing framework of this activity is characterized currently by the emergence of new and important producers, in what is called "new World Wine", it is hoped that with the ongoing internationalization of the market will register an increase in world consumption of wine until 2010.
In this context, the market for corks to the wine sector will continue to be, in the near future, the main destination of our Cork, being the strategic research in order to enable your application to new products of higher value.
3-the threats and challenges facing the sector But all this has been, however, to meet growing threats to the market of Cork, and a worrying development from the point of view of forest production, already referred to previously.
Among the threats include campaigns and aggressive trade moves towards replacing the Cork Stoppers for corks and other synthetic seals in bottling of wine, which represents a serious risk to economic and social sustainability of a sector that has your viability based just in the production of Cork Stoppers.
But the threats also come from internal difficulties associated with forest fires and a persistent decline of cork oak.
This decline is expressed on the death of Cork, in the loss of vegetative vigor of many trees, and the quantitative and qualitative decrease of Cork produced.
And this decrease in quantity and quality, puts two fundamental concerns.
The first means availability of Cork now lower than the processing and export capacity of industry, and the second is reflected in a fall in income of the Cork to the producers, which decreases the ability of your investment and improvement of your business in the future.
This situation, although the subject of many studies over time have not found satisfactory global responses from the scientific world. In this framework there are, in terms of future, the likely negative effects of climate change, that today they finally attention worldwide.
But the warnings regarding the Cork doesn't have come only from national sources.
4 in fact, over the years such concerns have been the subject of studies and reports, including the initiative of some international environmental organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the Rainforest Alliance or the Forest Stewardship, which warned the deeply worrying consequences, economically, socially and environmentally, reducing the production of cork or forest area dedicated to her.
In short, is not just faced with a challenge of decline of cork oak, translated in a quantitative and qualitative decrease of Cork as a raw material, as before an economic and social challenge can come to translate, in the future, for non economic viability of Cork extraction if the price to pay for a lower quality Cork does not support extraction costs higher in the face of a productivity that doesn't have evolved over the decades.
It is absolutely imperative that we find, and quickly, the identification of the causes of the decline of the Cork oak and point solutions to the fight.
4-The national business tissue 4.1 responses and the Association internally, processors have modernized your manufacturing processes and sought to diversify the products, while their associations have sought even fix strategies with companies and associations.
In terms of forest production, is visible in many producers own investment effort and initiative on improvements of the methods of management.
However, though with different emphases, there are concerns on the side of the industry, especially with regard to the future of the production conditions of forest, and forest producers side there is a deep concern with the lack of results at the level of research, and a concern with the lack of coherence, consistency and continuity of policies in this area.
In contacts with entrepreneurs and their associations, haven't heard the expected claim or request for financial support, but a very clear feeling that the State has acted as the demands the situation of a world leader that the Country holds in this economic sector.
An activity where the Cork oak forest starts the production of Cork to 25-30 years and return on investment occurs at 60-70 years, puts naturally challenges that require a national strategy, consistent in the long run, in order to ensure conditions of sustainability and progress in a sector that has a production and export potential which can reach, in the future, the double of their current values.
4.2 research activity 5 the investigation led to the transformation of Cork has been a positive development support in response to the demands of market-induced innovation, having allowed an improvement of production processes, in order to overcome some limitations and problems detected and attributed to the use of Cork Stoppers. This research has also produced amazing results concerning added value in terms of health, the environmental value of cork production and new applications.
We highlight, for negative symbolism of the situation, the fact that researchers and national rewarded internationally by your research efforts in the field of transformation there is nothing similar in the country that is the world leader.
When we look at applied research to the Cork oak, researchers and forestry producers recognize that the Country met a systematic activity up to 50 years, under the responsibility of the team led by Eng.. Vieira da Natividade. With the encouragement of the example given, the name of this investigator were associated with a prize established to highlight annually the best exploration suberícola. After that, a number of projects funded by the public purse and by Community funds, the research activity is scattered, disconnected from strategic objectives, and without tangible results, which leaves producers helpless and worried before the continuous decline of mounted.
However, the Government took some steps to structure a coordinated response in terms of research into the decline of mounted.
Within the framework of a profound change in the approach of the Cork sector and of their problems within a framework of Public administration reform and mobilization of society, it is important that temporary objectives, with challenges mobilizers and responsabilizantes.
The investigation should continue, of course, also in the transformation of Cork. Here the challenges are in the continuous improvement of the quality of Cork, with emphasis on the eradication of contamination of TCA (referred to as "like a cork"), the defect of Cork more referenced by the wine industry, but also of innovation and diversification of products based on Cork, to achieve high added value products similar to Cork. To your use, for example, in the insulation of dwellings with a view to greater energy efficiency, can and should be a challenge with multiple winnings for the national economy, but it is vital that there is investment in fully innovative solutions, some waiting just realization. The ongoing technological innovation should continue to focus on improving the methods of transformation of Cork, in order to make them cleaner and more environmentally friendly.
Finally, the research effort should focus on regions where the business of processing and forestry production, promoting a closer cooperation between research and users. 6 4.3-the attitude of the country we have to ask ourselves, if in a country with this privileged heritage exists today a public attitude that considers and values as justified. And the conclusion is not very encouraging.
Indeed, even though most of the Portuguese have the perception that Portugal is a world leader in the production and transformation of Cork, the feeling is that while economic activity this Cork sector appears as something that creeps from the past and marked by an inexorable fate of extinction, given the apparent signs of progress that some associate with the replacement of Cork by alternative materials of synthetic origin.
For lack of information and adequate disclosure, there are few Portuguese who know and appreciate the modern uses that Cork has already, and their potential in the most demanding environmental and technological.
But, how can we develop external trade campaigns in order to promote the use of corks, while at the same time we have national producers of quality wine, using the synthetic seals?
4.4-the attitude of the State As the State, the main criticisms that at present are woven focus in the absence of a public body or mechanism to monitor and ensure the country's strategic attitude in this area. In this respect, it should be noted that the national strategy for the forests do not fulfill a specific strategy for this vital forest row.
The research effort, clearly has not obeyed a strategy articulated and focused on solving the current problems and challenges that are posed to the future of this sector.
At the level of university education there is a course, a master's degree, a specialization or even a discipline, that are dedicated to Cork.
It seems apparent today that in an era in which the savings, internationalize States have to be rethought in order to avoid that the deregulation of markets by force of companies and groups of world scale leading to destruction of small-scale economic activities and sustainability can no longer be ensured by the traditional game of the market.
In some regions of countries like Spain and Italy, were taken legislative measures to recommend the use of Cork Stoppers in the bottling of wines, and in some cases, make such use, in the case of wines with controlled denomination of origin (DOC).
As it turns out, such measures do not specifically aimed at the Cork defence, but the defence of brand wines from these countries. But it is clear, however, that 7 in doing so, these countries considered that Cork was a qualifying factor for wine, and who did not hesitate to act in the interests of their economies.
Despite the national wine consume only 3% stopper produced, this should not be an argument for not joining the national quality wines the use of Cork as a sealant.
Portugal has today a new framework for Community financing which has important features planned for the area of innovation and the development of national forest, as well as instruments for use rationally, namely to achieve objectives such as those relating to Cork.
Under the NSRF, are provided for measures to support the establishment of Regional competitiveness Poles, for your time provided for in the technological plan. These are groupings of companies, laboratories, technological centres and educational institutions, of a particular region, with the aim of promoting a set of complementary economic activities. The poles of competitiveness may have a local, national or global vocation and your development will be supported through various policy level training, marketing, networking, of fusion between companies and promote innovation. The your launch requires a inter-ministerial co-ordination of policies and actors in a new national framework for governance of the innovation. This measure, which draws on diverse experiences undertaken in several European countries, must, however, be appropriate to the nature and challenges of the Cork sector, with two distinct components, but interconnected, that are the forest production and the transformation of Cork, each with Dynamics and problems.
In this context, going to meet the expectations of undertakings, forest producers and their associations, universities and researchers, the Government has the historic opportunity to contribute decisively to the creation of a Cluster or a pole of Competitiveness to the Cork industry. At the same time, you feel the urgent need for a National Observatory for the Cork oak.
On the other hand, the existence of Cork-producing countries, and facing similar challenges, opens opportunity, and calls on international cooperation.
It should be noted, in this connection, that Portugal concluded with Spain, on 6 April 2003, a "Memorandum of cooperation on the forest species of the Cork oak and Holm oak", which met, however, large developments to date.
In conclusion, perhaps unrepeatable conditions are fulfilled, to the country organize sectoral and territorial perspective, and prepare to defend and 8 valuing not only a historical, cultural heritage, social and economic, as an activity of vital importance for the future.
5-The new allies of the cause of Cork alongside the persistent effort of individuals and national institutions, appropriate international entities, linked to environmental research, attest to the odd nature of the production system of Cork in terms of environmental sustainability of your production, contributing to the maintenance of biodiversity, for the fixation of CO2, for the protection of soils against erosion to the increase in the rate of infiltration of rainwaters, and yet, through employment, economic and social sustainability of the poorest regions, helping in this way to combat the phenomenon of desertification.
At the beginning of a new millennium, marked clearly by a warning and environmental concerns and increasing environmental side of consumers, that begin to answer some Governments, the production of Cork wins new and significant capital gains, and potential allies for a more promising future.
6-A national cause and a cause of future Cork and their skills in economic, social and environmental matters, make it a good future.
Sustain and strengthen the country's position in this sector should be a national cause around which the Portuguese if they can mobilize.
The Portuguese have already demonstrated that mobilize around causes and national objectives or of solidarity (see the case of Timor).
In an increasingly competitive on a global scale, no developed country can waste an opportunity to be a world leader in sport, science, culture or economics. The situation that Portugal holds in this sector should constitute an important contribution to the strengthening of national self-esteem, and, consequently, to stimulate progress in other areas.
So, defend the Portuguese forest, and within it the Cork oak as emblematic tree of the national forest, can constitute a mobilizing cause, because it is fair, it's future, and we will have many actual and potential allies to the European and global scale.
This cause can be taken by civil society if properly disclosed, starting by schools, in a process involving the defence of cork oak exploitation of multifunctionality of the mounted and other environmental and social concerns. Certainly the Portuguese know contribute to the defence of cork oak and Cork, notably preferring the consumption of wines that use Cork as a sealant, and other cork products.
6.1-the role of the Assembly of the Republic 9 although this challenge call, in General, the Portuguese society, private economic agents to fit responsibilities of industry and forestry, research and education, and local authorities. And in this process, the Government initiative is the mobilization of these agents, ensuring it to be concerted and assumed a national strategy on the row of Cork, with the necessary resources allocated for research and incentives to innovate on all fronts.
In deciding to establish a working group to "DEFEND the MOUNTED, valuing the CORK ROW", the Parliament took a first step towards studying and determining the nature and extent of your involvement in the effort that the Country will devote to this cause.
By adopting this draft resolution, the Assembly of the Republic shall assume a decisive political commitment.
Such commitment means: contribute to that Cork take a national priority of the Portuguese and mobilizing the various agents.
continue and deepen, through the working group already formed, the contact with the sector in order to promote other initiatives, including legislation, that may be useful to this cause.
follow through of the Permanent Committees connected to the economy, agriculture, science and education, the Government action on the implementation of the recommendations of the Present resolution, in particular in defining a strategy for the industry, their objectives, whether in terms of expansion of production and export diversification, and promotion of cork products, or in combating the downturn mounted.
As a result, should be assessed annually, in plenary session, a progress report on these objectives.
So, listen to representatives from all these areas, the undersigned Members have the following proposed the Assembly of the Republic shall act in accordance with the rules applicable and constitutional, to propose to the Government that: 1 Streamline the Constitution of a Cluster or Pole of competitiveness in the area processing, and a National Observatory for the Cork and Cork, 10 that are adequate to support a national strategy of development of the sector.
2 Proceed to the survey and evaluation of all I&D projects, ongoing, of public and private initiative, with a view to the coordination and streamlining of all means, including human, material and financial resources involved.
3 weigh up support for creation of prizes to be awarded annually to personalities or institutions, whose scientific activity, or of another nature, directly contributes to the safeguarding and promotion of their products, in particular of Cork.
4 Strengthen and articulate the issues relating to the Cork oak and Holm oak under the national plan to combat desertification and drought.
5 adjust the National Forest Strategy and the Rural development plan, in terms of priorities and allocation of resources to strategic importance recognized and assigned to the Cork oak.
6 support the introduction, at the level of teaching of disciplines or courses related to Cork.
7 Strengthen the vocational training in the activities related to the management of the mounted, and the extraction and processing of Cork.
8. Adopt measures to promote the use, on the labels of wine bottles, the symbol on the Cork-CORK ®, developed following an international initiative coordinated by Portugal, with the support of FAO, and already registered internationally.
9 Evaluate and use all possibilities of articulation and international cooperation in the defence of Cork, as the product of a European and Mediterranean ecosystem only.
10. Promote the rapid implementation of the "Luso-Spanish Observatory for monitoring settlements of cork oak and Holm oak".
Palácio de s. Bento, April 18 2007 Members
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