The Mountain Forests Project successfully adapts summer volunteer stays in the Catalan Pyrenees to the context of the pandemic
The Mountain Forests Project, an entity that has been working for 13 years to promote the conservation and improvement of the forests and landscapes of the Catalan Pyrenees and that organizes volunteer stays in the forest, has overcome all adversities and this summer has managed to carry out the planned activity of citizen participation in the management of natural resources.
With a great effort to adapt to the new safety, protection and hygiene regulations, the entity has maintained the projects in the Esterri de Cardós valley and the Orri Massif (Alt Pirineu Natural Park, Pallars Sobirà) and Espinavell (Natural Park of Capçaleres del Ter and Freser, Ripollès).
In total, the organization has hosted 303 participants for 17 weeks in the woods, which has generated nearly 17,000 hours of work. Thanks to the awareness work and all the measures taken, not a single case of coronavirus has been detected during four months of work in the forest.
Overall this year’s stays have recovered 5.5 kilometers of roads and 1.7 hectares of pasture. 11 hectares have also been cleared as habitat improvement, with three key objectives: conditioning the forest for the future, strengthening it as a stable and sustainable ecosystem, ensuring wood production, and protecting rooster habitat, an endangered species in the Pyrenees due to the climate emergency. At the same time, 16 meters of dry stone walls, a bridge, a trough and a retaining wall have been built with bioengineering techniques.
This 2020, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has awarded the Mountain Forests Project with one of three prizes for projects for the recovery and conservation of natural heritage, along with a reforestation project in the rainforest of Borneo and the network of protection of old forests of Auvergne (France). The foundation has been chosen from 120 projects around the world, a record number of applications.
The Mountain Forests Project has had a busy season in terms of activity 2020 is the year with the most projects, commissions, alliances and financiers in the history of the entity, which enjoys a high level of social recognition and celebrates the consolidation of the link with the main institutions and organizations responsible for the management of mountain forests.