Fundació Natura is one of the first Spanish NGO dedicated to the conservation, improvement and restoration of natural ecosystems. Since its inception in 1997, it has conducted over 70 studies and projects for environmental recovery, both in Spanish territory and the South.
Given the apparent loss of biodiversity on the planet and the need to complete the action that the government made in the field of conservation, Francesc Giró, director of the Foundation, and Kenty Richardson, its first president, settled in 1994 bases which three years later established as the Fundació Natura. The experiment is based on the successful example of private organizations in other parts of the world, dedicated to preserving the natural heritage by acquiring and managing land. Furthermore, it was considered essential to involve the business community in doing something on the other hand bring an added social value to businesses.
For eight years, Fundació Natura is working on creating a network of protected natural areas – marine areas, steppes, wetlands, etc.– through purchase or donation of property, the signing of management agreements with the property and the purchase of rights to exploit natural resources.
The scope of work which now performs more actions is the reforestation of riparian forests. Their work in Catalonia and the rest of the country, as well as in developing countries where the projects are combine development with conservation of nature. When compatible with the preservation of natural values, the space is packaged for public use. Fundació Natura also promotes ecotourism as a means to contribute to sustainable economic development in rural depopulated areas. This work has earned it recognition within the world environment, with collection of major awards.
But what is really different from the Fundació Natura are its not belligerent attitude and choosing an option of constructive work that involves the different stakeholders for environmental recovery. "We need the involvement of all stakeholders to effectively perform a task for the recovery and protection of natural ecosystems. Therefore, we work with individuals, businesses, governments and other groups," explains the director.
Fundació Natura is funded by contributions from individuals and companies committed to preserving the natural heritage they want to publicly demonstrate their social responsibility. Triodos Bank helps finance the activities of the organization. "We chose Triodos Bank consistent with our principles and the values that inspire ethical banking," explains Giró.
For this year, the Foundation presents a full calendar of performances, including new projects for the recovery of riparian forests in Barcelona, Toledo, Asturias and Alava and studies for other banks that need to be reforested in the basins of the Guadalquivir and Jucar, north and Galicia. Abroad, the foundation will continue to work to restore large deforested areas of Peru and Brazil. But the most ambitious challenge facing the fight against climate change, "a global problem that affects all species and ecosystems worldwide, and in which society should aim to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere," Francesc Giró sentence.
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