Forests managed by Parques de Sintra store more than 220,000 tonnes of carbon
21 Mar 2023
On this International Day of Forests, Parques de Sintra reveals that the approximately 970 hectares of forest areas under its management store more than 220,000 tonnes of carbon, preventing its circulation in the atmosphere. This data was certified following a rigorous audit process according to the Forest Stewardship Council® standards, and the company was awarded the Ecosystem Services Certificate for the service of conserving carbon stocks in these forest areas.
The storage of more than 220,000 tonnes of carbon contributes to air purification, promoting health and improving quality of life. It is also reflected in the conservation of natural capital and the promotion of biodiversity, which are fundamental to increasing the resilience of the territory against the effects of climate change.
Parques de Sintra pursues sustainable forest management based on the control of invasive species, reforestation with native species, and regular forest fuel control. The areas that most contribute to the conservation of carbon reserves in the forests under the company's management are those that are already consolidated in terms of invasive species control and planting of native species, namely the Monserrate, Saldanha and Mouco hunting grounds.
With the continuity of forest management actions applied to the entire forest area under the care of Parques de Sintra, a gradual growth in the contribution of all management units to the conservation of carbon reserves is expected, with a positive impact on the environmental balance of the entire Sintra Cultural Landscape.
Sofia Cruz, Chair of the Board of Directors of Parques de Sintra, explains: "After obtaining the International Forest Management Certificate – Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) for all the forest areas in our care in 2021, through which we voluntarily commit to following good sustainable forest management practices, it made perfect sense to move towards the certification of the services that these ecosystems provide to the community, in particular the conservation of carbon stocks. The decarbonisation of the economy is one of the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda, which we support through our voluntary ratification of the Charter of Principles of the Business Council for Sustainable Development. This is an important step in our journey towards sustainability, to which we are deeply committed as a fundamental component of Parques de Sintra's mission."
Ecosystem services are benefits that humanity derives from ecosystems and can include material goods and/or intangible services.
Forest ecosystems make an essential contribution to reducing air pollution by capturing and storing carbon, as well as retaining particles or dust. They are also instrumental in reducing soil erosion, purifying water, and reducing the likelihood of flooding, as they influence precipitation at local and regional level. At the same time, they are spaces for leisure and recreation. They therefore provide a wide range of benefits that must be preserved. This objective guides the work of Parques de Sintra in the forest areas under its care, now holders of the Ecosystem Services Certificate for the service of carbon stock conservation (licence code FSC-C128797).