Rialb 2021: forests and water, source of life

Inside perspective on the second Catalan MAG Meeting

The second MAG meeting in Catalonia kindled at least as much enthusiasm as the first one. Around 30 people gathered on Wednesday April 10, in La Baronia de Rialb in the city hall of one of the municipalities sitting on the edge of the Rialb reservoir and directly concerned by the innovative mechanisms developed in SINCERE.

The agenda for this half-a-day meeting focused on moving forward in the design and implementation of a “forest for water” fund and was divided into two blocks. We started by examining the factors that could favour or instead impede the expected outcomes of the innovative mechanism. This collective analysis contributes to deepen our understanding of the very local specificities and prepare efficiently in order to reach the objective of “more forest management, for more water quality and quality” (among other benefits).

The second part of the meeting was introduced by Joan Pons Solé, specialist in environmental law, who presented several potentially inspirational examples of forest and water funds. In small groups, the participants then collectively reflected upon and designed the “ideal fund” for the Rialb area. However complex this task already was, attention was also paid to important sustainability principles and criteria, developed for all innovative mechanism in SINCERE, in order to ensure that the fund will have an overall positive impact.

Contrary to the first MAG meeting, this time, the organisation of the program and of the group dynamics were in the hands of the organisers, as no professional facilitators had been hired. Taking up this challenge has led eventually to a fruitful meeting. Some avenues were identified and will be explored in the next months to move forward towards the first operational “Forest for Water” funds in Catalonia.

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