Grazalema Biosphere Reserve

Grazalema Biosphere Reserve

Fundación Iberdrola España is developing a project with the collaboration of Territorios Vivos in the Grazalema Biosphere Reserve, which was created in 1977 and was the first to be declared in Spain. One of the main values that motivated its declaration are the existing populations of Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo), a fir tree endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and with a very restricted presence, reduced to some redoubts of the Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra Bermeja and Sierra del Pinar where it is found in the shadiest and most humid areas, between 1200 and 1600 meters above sea level. In recent years its populations are expanding thanks to the decrease in pressure on these forests, but its relict nature and associated with very specific humidity and temperature conditions make it extremely vulnerable to climate change.

  • It currently occupies about 8100 hectares, identifying about 700 hectares of area where it has disappeared and which are considered a priority for its recovery.
  • The pinsapar has been historically linked to numerous traditional uses, constituting a landscape reference for the local populations. However, the progressive disappearance of land uses coupled with the gradual depopulation suffered by rural areas and especially mountain areas- in the Mediterranean area, have been coupled with a progressive emotional disaffection of the population with the territory they inhabit.

  • To recover former areas occupied by the Spanish fir where it has disappeared.
  • To favor the creation of corridors that connect the main existing populations of pinsapo.
  • To enhance the resilience of Spanish fir populations to the threat of climate change.
  • Bring the local population (especially children and the elderly) closer to the conservation of the natural environment and give them the opportunity to actively participate in its improvement.
  • Create a bridge for the transmission of culture related to the territory from the elders to the children.
  • To open a framework for the recovery of memory related to the territory.
  • Give the opportunity to learn more about the values that have motivated this territory to have the figures of Natural Park and Biosphere Reserve.

How it will be carried out:

This project, funded by the Iberdrola Spain Foundation, is composed of two dimensions, environmental and social.

  • Environmental dimension, with several days of participative reforestation of pinsapo with native plants and seeds in one of the areas identified as a priority for the identified as a priority for the expansion of the pinsapar and aimed especially at children and senior citizens. As an additional activity, a permanent pond will be created to improve the survival of species vulnerable to climate change, especially amphibians.
  • Social dimension, including conducting several intergenerational interviews about the relationship of the population with their environment, holding a participatory workshop and the The social dimension, including several intergenerational interviews about the relationship between the population and its environment, a participatory workshop and the collection of historical memory associated with the traditional uses of the territory (old photographs, songs, stories, …) that will conclude with an exhibition open to the public.