Tenerife – 15/12/2014. The Cabildo of Tenerife Environment Department and Mirlo Positive Nature undertook a repopulation activity that attracted some fifty people who planted around 700 new trees in the Corona Forestal. The activity forms part of the 2nd Campaign to reforest the Corona Forestal, an initiative designed to reconstruct part of the degraded forest in what is the largest natural space in the Canary Islands. The project is funded by an original system of public participation that makes it possible to plant one tree for every 8 Euros that are donated.
The Minister for the Environment, Ana Lupe Mora, and the Director General of Mirlo Positive Nature, Yeray Martínez both attended the act and helped plant small-leafed holly, laurustinus, myrica faya, Spanish broom and Canary Island pine. “The objective is to repopulate part of the Corona Forestal and to generate positive ecological footprint. Positive carbon footprint is generated because trees are able to capture the carbon dioxide that is produced by human activity, thereby preventing it adding to global warming”, Ana Lupe Mora explained to us.
In the words of the Minister for the Environment, Mirlo’s initiative “is very important because it is all about getting the public involved in caring for the environment. It’s important that the population at large understands that the maintenance of our natural spaces is not just down to the administrations but rather it is something that they themselves can actively get involved in through repopulation activities such as this”.
The 2014 campaign managed to attract a total of 254 contributors – more than double last year’s amount – among which there were noteworthy contributions from the clients of the Hotel Tigaiga in Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife), who planted some 80 trees. The 2014 plantation will remove from the atmosphere some 230 tons of CO2, equivalent to the annual emissions of 75 cars or the average emissions of 37 Spanish citizens, or it also equates to the emissions of nearly 400 return flights from the Canaries to the Iberian Peninsula.
Together with the Cabildo’s Department of the Environment and Mirlo Positive Nature, a number of institutions and individuals collaborated in the 2014 campaign and helped ensure such a good turnout. Of note among these collaborators, as well as the Hotel Tigaiga, are the digital magazine Tendencias 21, Forestal Park, the Naturman Festival, the artist ziREjA, the Ruta 7 collective, the Boreal Festival, the Tenerife Chamber of Commerce, the Tenerife Tourist Board, the “Vida Sostenible” Foundation, the Cabildo de Tenerife Volunteers Office, the “Roscas y Cotufas” programme from the RTVC, and many other individuals, associations, companies and influential people in the social networks such as Leocadio Martín, Rosalba Díaz, Verónica Martín, Isa Robayna or Tenerife Ocio, among many other entities that are committed to social dynamics.
Corona Forestal Repopulation Campaigns
The 2013 campaign, which involved planting 520 trees in 3,500 square metres, will mean that 139 tons of CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere. Together with last year’s trees, this new 2014 plantation will manage to remove from the atmosphere almost 400 tons of CO2, which is quite an achievement considering that the Canary Islands is one of the regions of the world that generates the highest amounts of contamination due to CO2 (approximately 6 tons of CO2 per person per year), due to the insular fragmentation of the territory (1-2 thermal power stations on each island) and the massive utilization of fuel oil.
The two campaigns carried out to date have attracted a total of 324 people who are committed to generating positive ecological footprint, known as “mirlos”. Mirlos are people who, imitating the behaviour of the “mirlo capiblanco” (a little bird known in English as the Ring Ouzel) help improve the Corona Forestal by contributing resources and even by planting trees.
The “mirlo capiblanco” is a bird that flies every year from the north of Europe to the Canary Islands and, once there, it helps to disperse the seeds of the Canary Island Cedar Tree, a native species that is under threat. Mirlos who arrive from Europe feed on its fruit, and that fruit can only germinate once the mirlo has digested it. In this way, a symbiosis is produced that mirrors what the campaign of the 324 mirlos hopes to achieve.
Mirlo Positive Nature is a company that was set up in Madrid in 2013 and is based in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Its objective is to enlist the help of the public to undertake genuine environmental projects which make a positive impact on nature and society. Mirlo Positive Nature supports the seventh of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that the 189 member states of the United Nations agreed to attain by the year 2015: guarantee the sustainability of the environment. Mirlo’s aim is to achieve this sustainability by generating positive ecological footprints. The first project to be launched on its Internet platform has to do with recovering the original forests of the Corona Forestal on the island of Tenerife, specifically the forests that cover the peaks of the Orotava Valley. http://www.mirlo.co Mirlo is also participating in creating the International Appalachian Trail in Spain.