Los parques nacionales cumplen 100 años como abanderados de la biodiversidad

Atardecer en las Tablas de Daimiel. EFE/BeldadLos parques nacionales cumplen cien años y lo hacen como abanderados de la biodiversidad española, la más rica y variada de Europa, y como ejemplo de cómo los espacios protegidos pueden ser el motor del desarrollo socioeconómico de una zona.

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Farmers… and guardians of Europe’s last biodiversity

Explotaciones agrícolas en la campiña toledana. Foto: Raúl Casado (EFE)

They are the crop farmers of La Mancha - one of Europe's least profitable dry areas - and they are also the custodians of a habitat which is home to Europe’s most threatened and vulnerable steppe birds.
 
The long-term survival of these birds will depend to a large extent on the farmers sustaining their work, but to do so they should receive monetary compensation to guarantee the conservation of this vital landscape.
 
Sixty municipalities in La Mancha and hundreds of crop farmers are to join forces on an ambitious European project to ensure their farms are more profitable, at the same time as improving the conservation of these threatened birds.
 
The project “Estepas de La Mancha” (La Mancha Steppes), coordinated by the Global Nature Foundation with participation from Castilla La Mancha Regional Government, is to be extended until 2019 with funding from the European Commission’s Life programme, the only EU funding instrument to be dedicated exclusively to the environment.
 
Crop farmers: essential for land management
 
The initiative is based on the move away from traditional farming methods being one of the main causes of the decline of many species of steppe birds, the importance of adopting sustainable crop and livestock farming practices, and the importance of conserving La Mancha’s distinctive ‘mosaic’ landscape.
 
“You cannot manage land if you don’t work directly with farmers”, said Eduardo de Miguel, director of the Global Nature Foundation, who is critical of the way protected areas such as those in the Natura 2000 network have been set up without the direct involvement of the primary sector.
 
In statements to EFE, De Miguel pointed out that crop and livestock farmers on occasion suffer from “the limitations” of being in a protected area which they do not themselves take part in managing, or they receive “conflicting” information from management, unions, and ecologists; “they don’t know what to do because nobody is giving them adequate information about the benefits Natura 2000 has to offer them”.
 
The European project aims to improve the profitability of crop and livestock farms and reduce their costs, and is being implemented in four zones included in the Natura 2000 network: the northern La Mancha steppe region; the La Mancha Wetlands; Hito Lagoon; and San Clemente.
 
The project aims to improve the conservation of threatened bird species, including the little bustard, the Dupont's lark, the great bustard, and the lesser kestrel, all of which are characteristic of all steppe regions and are included in European directives aiming to ensure the survival of the most valuable species.
 
The least profitable steppes in Europe
 
To do so, the initiative seeks to reduce the use of insecticides or change pest control techniques, but above all it is looking to create a climate of trust amongst crop and livestock farmers and hunters - so they can embrace the fact that conserving the species is not only compatible with different land uses, but can even benefit them both socially and financially.
 
Eduardo de Miguel explained how the average profitability of crops farms in the La Mancha steppe region is lower than other Spanish dry land areas, and “much lower” than the rest of Europe. As such, it is important to achieve higher levels of quality in order to differentiate their produce.
 
In his opinion, CAP support is not enough to make their income equal to dry land farmers in the rest of Europe. This is why he puts forward the idea of higher quality, specifically, “ecological production”, with an emphasis on their farming activities being essential to conserve “the last biodiversity of western Europe”.
 
The head of the Foundation has argued that Europe must understand that if it wants to conserve the last of the steppe bird species on the continent “it needs to pay for it” and guarantee support for farmers who work in Natura 2000 network areas to contribute to the preservation of the birds’ habitat.
 
The project proposes that crop or livestock farmers sign up to “free and voluntary” agreements so they can put into practice agronomic measures allowing them to improve the profitability of their farming: with decreased usage of fertilisers and plant protection products, access to rural development grants, and access to marketing initiatives to differentiate their products.
 
A “Code of Sustainable Production”
 
According to the Global Nature Foundation this is about creating a “code of sustainable production” which identifies crop and livestock farming in La Mancha as having a production system differentiated by the quality of its traditional produce and the primary sector’s involvement in protecting natural values.
 
As well as eliminating risks and threats (the use of insecticides and fertilisers) the project will also work on the regeneration of hedgerows and water points, the restoration or construction of nesting areas for birds, and the planting of over 100,000 plants which contribute to protecting La Mancha’s biodiversity and distinctive landscape, as well as an extensive programme of training, education, and awareness-raising in schools and communities.

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Spread the meaning and values ​​of the Natura 2000 network is the objective of LIFE + " Infonatur 2000 " project , cofinanced by the LIFE financial instrument of EU and coordinated by the Government of Extremadura , and in which the Council of Lerida involved , the Board Tourism Girona- Costa Brava and Agencia.


More informaton about the Natura 2000 network in http://infonatur.gobex.es[13/11/2016]

 

 

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Accessibility and sustainability begin to be compatible with the knowledge and enjoyment of natural areas, and initiatives that enable people with disabilities to reach previously unthinkable places, and do so in a respectful manner with natural resources have emerged.

This is also very business opportunities related to natural resources that accredits Spain, the European country with greater biodiversity and more surface contributes to the Natura 2000 Network.

El Gobierno de Extremadura ha puesto en marcha un proyecto piloto para explotar ...
El Gobierno de Extremadura ha puesto en marcha un proyecto piloto para explotar con vehículos 4x4 eléctricos algunas rutas del Parque Nacional de Monfragüe, con el fin de facilitar la accesibilidad a algunos lugares de una forma sostenible. Foto: JJ El Gobierno de Extremadura ha puesto en marcha un proyecto piloto para explotar con vehículos 4x4 eléctricos algunas rutas del Parque Nacional de Monfragüe, con el fin de facilitar la accesibilidad a algunos lugares de una forma sostenible. Foto: JJ

The nature is now becoming one of the tourist areas with the most potential in Spain, and actions have been activated as the Ecotourism Club-sponsored by Turespaña-which acceded protected areas, governments and more than six hundred companies.

The newly approved Master Plan for Use and Management of the National Park Monfragüe allows operation of routes with electric all-terrain vehicles, a move that has sparked excitement and interest in many parts of Spain and Europe for its economic impact and especially social.

A pilot project of the Government of Extremadura

Los vehículos toro-terreno eléctricos estén permitiendo acceder a algunos espacios naturales de una forma más sostenible y accesible para personas con movilidad reducida. El Gobierno extremeño ha puesto en marcha un proyecto polito en el Parque Nacional de Monfragüe con este tipo de vehículos. FOTO: JJ Guillén (EFE)

While the tender is resolved to exploit those paths such vehicles , the Government of Extremadura launched a pilot project to develop electric vehicles with 4x4 routes some Montfrague National Park , in order to facilitate accessibility to some places in a sustainable manner .


The vehicles , manufactured entirely in Spain , are of time covering a route within this natural area of ​​ten kilometers , culminating in the Cerro Gimio , one of the best vantage points to see the landscape of Monfragüe and many of the species that have become a worldwide sanctuary for bird watching .

José Luis Rivero, co-founder Natur Extremadura , which is exploiting this project experimentally - emphasized the possibilities this type of transportation is available to persons with reduced mobility to get to places you otherwise would not have access , and to do well guided by experts that help them learn and "interpret " nature.

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Natura network workshops reach over one hundred schools in Extremadura

talleres escolaresOver one hundred schools in Extremadura have put on educational workshops about the Natura 2000 network. The initiative aims to educate the young population about the importance of the group of protected areas belonging to the network.

The educational workshops have been implemented thanks to the European LIFE+ project “Infonatur 2000”: an information and communications initiative financed by the EU to raise awareness of the Natura 2000 network, with additional participation from partners including the Regional Government of Extremadura, Lérida provincial government, the Costa Brava tourism board, and EFE news agency.

The initiative is one of many implemented over the last three years, aiming to promote the importance of the Natura 2000 network and teach children to value the areas the network covers, and the benefits and services nature offers.

The workshops have been rolled out over the last six months, starting at the Navalvillar de Pela Secondary Education Centre (Badajoz) and ending next Wednesday at Los Alijares Grouped Rural School, in Robledillo de Trujillo (Cáceres).

The workshops, given in the style of storytelling or readings depending on the age range of the children, both highlight the importance of the Natura 2000 network and educate children about the critical role people play in conserving the areas.

Playing a key role as storyteller in the workshops, the actress Laura Moreira has toured around Extremadura, describing the reception she’s had from schoolchildren as “brilliant and warm-hearted”, adding that in order to raise awareness of the project they must be “methodical and constant”.

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VILLARREAL DE SAN CARLOS (CÁCERES).- La clásica oferta española de turismo de sol y playa tiene un complemento perfecto, las aves, y todas las administraciones públicas y centenares de empresas están aprovechando su potencial turístico y el hecho de que la península es un lugar único para contemplar especies únicas en el mundo. Para poner en valor esos recursos naturales y promocionar destinos y productos ligados a la naturaleza y la ornitología ha abierto hoy sus instalaciones la Feria Internacional de Turismo Ornitológico (FIO), un certamen que reúne a un centenar de expositores sobre el paraje natural del Parque Nacional de Monfragüe, considerado como una de las "mecas" mundiales para la observación de las aves. EFE/J.J.Guillen

The International Birdwatching Fair (FIO ) , held since last Friday , is a "rara avis " between major fairs organized in Spain , especially the quirky "exhibition center" it occupies, in the heart of Montfrague National Park , one of the world sanctuaries for bird watching , a space that is also part of the Natura 2000 network .

The FIO has established throughout its nine editions as the largest of its kind in Southern Europe , and as the " little sister " of the British Birdwatching Fair which is held every summer in the UK, a country ornithology that is almost a religion .

The numbers are not overwhelming by the number of exhibitors, the area occupied by the number of visitors, or by the sensationalism of the presentations , or other , for the merit cacereña transform a small hamlet and a natural area on campus grounds, and to involve thousands of people in workshops ( guided tours , bird watching or banding ) .

The most emblematic birds Iberian

And it is, above all, by the effectism (Natural) that provide the hundreds of birds that fly over the fair, including some of the most emblematic of the Iberian Peninsula, like vultures- tawny and black- and, whith lucky, the rare and exclusive imperial eagle.

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