We are Giulia and Sara, 2 Italians volunteering in Spain :)
Giulia is volunteering in the project “INTREPIDA” within the programme Interreg POCTEP, hosted by the Fundación Tres Culturas del Mediterráneo in Sevilla, while Sara is volunteering at the Joint Secretary of Interreg Sudoe in Santander.
We met at the end of October because we both had been invited to a planting activity at the National Park of Doñana in El Rocìo, Andalucia.
Why a planting activity and why in Spain?
It is well-known that wildfires is a serious problem in Europe. In 2018, nearly 178,000 hectares of land were destroyed with extremely important environmental and socio-economical consequences. Spain was one of the country that experienced most of this issue and in 2017, Moguer, a city in the south of Spain, suffered a fire that the wind expanded till the Natural Space of Doñana, “the lung of Andalucía”, burning more than 8,000 hectares. In order to restore this area, the WWF promoted a plan of various actions and it is here that we go into action! With colleagues from the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and Interact we took part of a replanting action, helping to plant 1000 trees in the area. We had really a great time and we felt helpful to restore the diversity of vegetation. Being there, looking with our eyes the landscape destroyed by the fire made us really conscious about the importance of being active and at the same time it was powerful to realize how easy it can be: just planting a tree! Something simple that everyone can do.
What we bring home?
Surely, now we are more conscious of the problems connected to fires and climate change. We do believe that is important to raise awareness on environmental issues and we need to involve people, as much as possible: it’s about our planet, our future and is important to underline that everyone can make the difference with little contribution. It can start trying to be more eco-friendly at home or on workplace, it can continue by proposing small activities involving the community we live in or sharing experiences like this one.
It was for sure just the first step but looking forward it can be the beginning of a huge restoration of the area. It’s not impossible if we strongly believe in what we do, especially if it is together