On February 11th the StarTree regional stakeholder meeting took place in Sort (Catalan Pyrenees), to discuss the advances in the mycological knowledge and its application for managing the wild mushroom resource in view of unlocking its potential value for rural areas.
The morning session gathered representatives from the Forest Service, forest owners’ associations, the research sector and other mycology specialists, who discussed the results and next steps regarding the mushroom regulation in four pilot areas. An overview of Non-Wood Forest Products relevance in Europe was given. It followed preliminary conclusions on potential benefits and challenges from the regulation scheme as well as its acceptance by local communities. According to the experts, mushrooms represent a strong potential in terms of income and forest management improvements. The enforcement of a regulation relying on picking permits seems however to be received with mixed feelings in some areas. A working session disclosed the SWOT factors for business development around mushrooms in Catalonia.
The afternoon focused on the interaction between rural tourism and mushroom picking regulation, hence new viewpoints were presented. The cases of mushroom regulation in Aragon and by a private owner were discussed.
The meeting constituted a platform for stakeholders to discuss and exchange ideas and concerns over the matter. The emphasis was put on networking and dialogue, with a group exercise in the morning and a round table in the afternoon. Participants felt very concerned by the mycological regulation and a dynamic debate took place, which reveals factors to take into account in any possible regulation in the near future.