Forest transition in Portugal
Portugal is a premier south west European country and around 38% of its total land surface is covered by forests. The various forest resources derived from this forest cover like paper pulp and paper board, wood pulp, cork, cellulose are used in manifold ways in the various industries before they are seasoned and exported in the markets. In fact it is significant to refer to in this respect that the different forest resources obtained form the forests of Portugal contribute immensely to the economy and in recent times there has been an upsurge in the export of the forest products to foreign markets. But it is also true that with the progress of the passage of time, a common phenomenon has been observed worldwide as well as in Portugal. This is the continuous decrease of the forest area as a result of deforestation caused by urbanization, forest fires etc. in Portugal. Therefore, what is required is to draw up a full proof plan in order to ensure that the amount of forest area lost in recent times be replaced by expanding the current forest cover with the implementation of various methods like conceiving a proper forest management plan, increase vegetation by planting new saplings, prevent intrusion into forest area for the sake of urbanization, prevention of forest fires and natural hazards etc. This process is theoretically referred to as forest transition and it has been experimented in various countries of the world of which Portugal is one too.
In purely technical terms, forest transition is a geographical process which talks of the reversal of the factors governing usage of land by means of recovery of the net forest area lost in a particular period to the amount of forest area acquired in a period. In Portugal forest transition could be observed after the commencement of industrialization.