Rialb 2021: forests for water in Catalonia

Inside perspective on the First Catalan MAG Meeting

There was great alignment of different stakeholders around the necessity to implement an innovation mechanism to value forest management and its direct relation with the amount and quality of water.

The first meeting of the “SINCERE” project in the Rialb study case generated a lot of expectation and this is demonstrated by the attendance of group of 40 people from many different fields and sectors.

The challenge was complex to address as this was the first time that an attempt had been made in Catalonia to link the management of forests with the obtaining of water. In addition, the concept was very complex to understand, both for the people unrelated to the forestry sector as for the most specialised people in forestry.

For this reason, the organisation wanted to have the support of an agency specialised in supporting transformation processes. Coperfield For Social Good took us through several phases until the group reached all the goals that we had proposed: the identification and concretion of five innovative mechanisms, the effect of the regulatory framework on the implementation of the mechanisms and the definition of a communication strategy. It has been a very intense and very fruitful day at the same time.

The meeting presented a great opportunity to start on a path towards new governance and cooperation between the water and forest sector and tourism. Nevertheless, it will be a challenge to maintain the momentum and the good feelings generated in the MAG meeting.

Outcomes of the meeting included: a clear alignment and commitment of the different stakeholders within the Sincere – Rialb 2021initiative; definition and concretion of five innovation mechanisms; deep analysis of the regulatory framework; and the determination of the structure of a future communication plan.

Next steps for this case will be to deepen the definition and concretion of the two selected innovation mechanisms (through the creation of two new specific stakeholders groups) and then to begin to develop implementation of these mechanisms through a system of making prototypes, testing and, if successful, scaling them. An action plan will now be developed to unfold the two innovative mechanisms.

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