A forest with a futureCork oak forest why cork?
Whether it is a cork stopper, a pair of designer shoes, a piece of furniture, even the tiniest bit of cork in your house is a reminder of the magnificent landscape that cradles it: the cork oak forest.
Cork oak forests occupy an estimated area of over 5.4 million acres in the West Mediterranean basin.
Like the Mediterranean diet, sunshine and great wine, cork oak forests are an icon of the Mediterranean way of life. Around 90% of the area of distribution of the species is found in Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Algeria. From all the cork oak forests, approximately 340,000 tons of cork are harvested each year. Portugal, which has a third of the total area of cork oaks, is the largest producer, being responsible for 55% of the world's cork production.
Qualities of the cork oak
- Prevents soil degradation
- Makes soils more productive
- Regulates the water cycle
- Fights desertification
- Provides retention and storage of carbon for very long periods of time
- Generates high rates of biodiversity
- Combats climate change
- Creates employment and wealth in the country