To celebrate the European Natura 2000 Network day, Fundación Global Natura and the Junta de Castilla y León organized a workday on May 21st to give a presentation about the LIFE Paludicola project in the Casa del Parque de La Nava y Campos de Palencia. The event had 30 attendees, with representatives from public agencies (Delegación del gobierno en Castilla y León, Junta de Castilla y León, Diputación de Palencia, local city councils, and local action groups) and technicians from the beneficiaries. The program included interventions about the project and the Natura 2000 Network in Castilla y León.

The Natura 2000 Network is the biggest network of protected ecological areas in Europe: in Spain, there are 2,800 protected areas, with 2.4 million hectares in Castilla y León belonging to the network. The Natura 2000 Network promotes the union of conservation with socioeconomic development; José Ángel Arranz, Director-General of Medio Natural de la Consejería de Fomento y Medio Ambiente of the Junta de Castilla y León, noted that “they are models of sustainable development where nature can be conserved while allowing human activity and economic development.”

Carlos Zumalacárregui, coordinator of the project in Fundación Global Nature, wanted to convey the importance of the aquatic warbler, a small, globally-threatened bird with only 30,000 specimens left in the planet that uses the Tierra de Campos wetlands and other wetlands in Spain as resting grounds during their migration journey. The main outcomes of this project will allow the recovery and improvement of 308 hectares of wetlands, the control of exotic invasive species (American mink), increase the amount of information about the populations of this bird, and consolidate conservation measures for the aquatic warbler. Lastly, he stressed the need for new rural development policies that include bonus for conservation as well as new policies at the state level.

Eduardo de Miguel, Director-General of Fundación Global Nature, wanted to emphasize the work of the foundation in Natura 2000 Network areas, with actions in over 14,000 ha of wetlands, highlighting the importance of the LIFE Paludicola project: “the LIFE Paludicola project helps us to continue recovering the habitat, maintaining the line of work in which we try to work in collaboration with different Autonomous Communities.”

From the County Council of Palencia, the Deputy of Área de Acción Territorial, Urbano Alonso, pointed that “the Councils and the rest of the administrations have a very important role for the conservation of nature; they have to work together, but for that to happen it’s also indispensable that the citizens accept and collaborate with the initiatives.”

Foto Laguna de La Nava

Enrique Gómez, Technician of the Servicio Territorial de Medio Ambiente de Palencia, concluded the event by reviewing the evolution of these zones since the previous LIFE project related to the aquatic warbler that took place from 2002 to 2006, and all the current activities, defining which is the optimal habitat after the analysis of countless variables and the in-depth study of this bird. Since the beginning of the LIFE Paludicola project at the end of 2017, the different actions taking place in Castilla y León to improve and restore different areas are benefitting other species that also inhabit them, not only the aquatic warbler.

At the end of the event, all the attendees had the opportunity of participating in a guided visit to the Laguna de La Nava—a walk through the history of a wetland that was desiccated in the 60’s and after years of work, currently features over 300 ha of flooded areas.

Foto Visita Laguna Fuentes de La Nava

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European Natura 2000 Network Day

The celebration of the European Natura 2000 Network day is an initiative driven by España por SEO/BirdLife y EFEverde of the Agencia EFE five years ago, under the project LIFE + Activa tu auténtica riqueza. Red Natura 2000 (LIFE 11 INF/ES/665)

With the slogan “The simple flutter of a butterfly can change the world,” the European Natura 2000 Network day calls for the participation of all citizens so that they’ll have a gesture in support of the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, and send a picture of them doing a butterfly with their hands through the website or social media with the hashtag #Natura2000Day. Part of the team that works in the LIFE Paludicola project wanted to participate in this initiative by taking a picture in the Boada de Campos lagoon (Palencia), one of the wetlands were the project is taking place.

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