Credit: Wikimedia Commons

By Allie Wisniewski, American Forests

This is part of an 11-blog series on our work with Alcoa Foundation in 2017. Learn more here!

Beautiful, vibrant Spain boasts the highest index of biodiversity in the European Union. With climate change and environmental degradation plaguing the land at an increasingly rapid pace, Ecoherencia knows that it cannot stand idly by. By engaging communities of volunteers and instilling a sense of care and respect for the environment in younger generations, this nonprofit cooperative society is constantly striving to achieve individual and collective resilience.

Ecoherencia’s work aligns with four major themes: ecosystem restoration, environmental education, citizen science, and agroecology and permaculture. The organization’s perspective is largely holistic, and members are keen to walk their talk. Since their objective is to improve their environmental, economic and social surroundings, they understand the necessity of proposing real and visible solutions.

But why embark on such a journey alone? This year, Ecoherencia is teaming up with both American Forests and Alcoa Foundation to plant 5,400 trees and shrubs at four locations within northwest Spain, an area that has been significantly affected by fires in recent years. With the help of volunteers, both locals and employees of Alcoa, the organization will restore vegetation in Madrid, Avilés, A Coruña and San Ciprián. Native species including Aleppo pine, European oak, holm oak, sweet chestnut, European ash, silver birch and more will be planted.

Ecoherencia knows that the best work results from community collaboration. In order to achieve its tree planting goal, the organization is involving local schools and city councils to spread the word and give everyone the opportunity to make positive change close to home. Restoration will not only benefit forest ecosystems, but also encourage the flourishing of amphibian species and other native fauna.

Thanks to Ecoherencia and its work with both American Forests and the Alcoa Foundation, Spanish ecosystems are on their way to an amazing recovery. Change doesn’t happen in a day, but with many days and many hands, the planted seeds of resilience are sure to grow tall and strong.