How volunteering gives another taste to work, broadens one’s perspectives and surprises you with unexpected outcomes.

Hello there! I’m Paty and since September 2022 I have been an Interreg Project partner of the Interreg SUDOE project "MONTCLIMA" at the Observatorio Pirenaico del Cambio Climatico (OPCC) in Jaca Spain.

This project means a lot to me because I truly believe that actions speak louder than words, and it is exactly what MONTCLIMA promotes by targeting actions plans to strengthen the resilience of the SUDOE mountain areas. In fact, these mountain areas are among the territories most affected by natural hazards which are expected to increase due to the effects of climate change. It is well known that these risks do not respect administrative boundaries like the wildfires that cross borders in continuous forest areas, and therefore transnational coordination is urgently needed. One of the strengths of this project is its partnership, which brings together the relevant national and research centers, and representatives of regional and local authorities from 4 countries: France, Spain, Portugal and Andorra. Through 6 concrete action plans, MONTCLIMA aims to address the natural and climatic challenges through the prevention and management of natural risks (fires, droughts, flooding and erosion) in SUDOE mountains.

As an Interreg project partner, I volunteer within a wonderful team where I am involved in the project execution and communication. My daily tasks are very diverse and broad. On one hand, I help in the organization of seminars, events and communication materials to diffuse the project results. On the other hand, I also assist in the review process of technical documents, coordination meetings, and write news about the recent extreme climatic events in the region.

Through this experience, I am learning a lot about how European transnational cooperation works, the main challenges within a project framework, the funding and coordination structures and meeting several key actors addressing climate change issues in the mountain areas. This experience gave me a practical overview of a European project planning, coordination, execution and diffusion. As an IVY volunteer I was invited to several events like the European Youth Event in Santander and Interreg Annual Event where I interacted with many interesting people in intellectually stimulating environments. On a side note, living in Jaca is a great opportunity to connect with nature and explore the nearby Pyrenees and all the possible outdoor activities. At last, I greatly recommend such experiences to young people willing to invest their time and energy on a meaningful cause dear to their hearts. Volunteering gives another taste to work, broadens one’s perspectives and surprises you with unexpected outcomes. Give it a chance 😊

- Paty, IVY Project Partner for the Interreg SUDOE project "MONTCLIMA" at the Observatorio Pirenaico del Cambio Climatico (OPCC)

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