- The Local Government of Tenerife and Mirlo Positive Nature seek public collaboration to plant 43,500 trees and to retain 11,600 tons of CO2.
10–09–2013. An initiative set up by the Island of Tenerife’s Local Government of “Cabildo”, and Mirlo Positive Nature, an environmental company, has set itself the task of finding 10,000 “mirlos” to create a 71 acre forest in the Canary Island’s largest natural protected space, an area known as the Corona Forestal.
These 10,000 mirlos would be people who, from a small, rocky corner of an island in the Canary Island archipelago and emulating the behaviour of a small bird known in Spanish as the “mirlo capiblanco” and in English as the Ring Ouzel, will help to improve the state of the planet.
The “mirlo capiblanco” flies every year from the north of Europe to the Canary Islands, and when it gets there, it helps to spread the seeds of the Canary Island cedar tree, a local species that is very much under threat. Recent research by Beatriz Rumeu, a Doctor in Biology at the University of La Laguna, has determined that the Ring Ouzel is the principal factor in the reproduction and dispersal of the Canary Island cedar tree in the area known as Las Cañadas del Teide.
The mirlos that arrive from Europe feed on its fruit, which only germinates once it has been digested by the mirlo. This gives rise to a symbiosis which is a mirror image of just what the 10,000 mirlos campaign hopes to achieve.
71 acres, 11,600 tons of CO2
In years gone by the Canary Islands suffered terrible deforestation, and it is estimated that today some 222,396 acres (that’s 347 square miles) of forest land needs to be restored. The 71 acres of the 10,000 mirlos campaign mark the start of a movement that will spread to other islands in the archipelago and then on to the Iberian Peninsula, other parts of Europe and then the rest of the world.
The forests of the Canary Islands barely compensate 10% of the CO2 footprint that is generated throughout the islands of the archipelago. The 71 acre forest that is going to be created, an area equivalent to some 29 football pitches, will fix more than 11,600 tons of CO2. That means that all that pollution will not enter the atmosphere because the 43,500 trees that are going to be planted during the 10,000 mirlos campaign will capture the carbon dioxide that is produced by human activity, thereby preventing its adding to global warming.
This campaign takes the ecological impact of 16,600 return flights from the Peninsular to Tenerife, 9,700 return flights from Europe to Tenerife, 7,300 holidays in Tenerife, the annual consumption of 500 mid-size cars or the annual carbon footprint of some 1,800 people, and transforms it into a positive impact.
For it to be a success, the campaign needs to raise 345,000 Euros and the intention of the Tenerife “Cabildo” and Mirlo Positive Nature is to raise this money through public collaboration (the 10,000 mirlos) given that the current economic crisis makes it impossible for more public funds to be dedicated to the regeneration of the mountains and to the generation of positive ecological footprint.
The 10,000 mirlos campaign is based on word of mouth and on a unique public participation system that makes it possible to plant one tree for every 7.7 Euros that are raised, and by the participants inviting three (or more) like-minded people to also become mirlos.
This way, just by following a few easy steps, three more mirlos will have joined the cause; by round two, there’ll be 13 more; round three, 40 mirlos; round four, 121…! And by the eighth round there’ll be almost 10,000 mirlos and the 345,000 Euros needed to plant the first 71 acres will have been raised.
43,500 plants are waiting in the nursery, ready to be planted. Planting all the trees that the 10,000 mirlos manage to fund will provide employment for some twenty professionals for two and a half months.
About the Tenerife Local Government, (“Cabildo Insular de Tenerife”).
The “Cabildo Insular de Tenerife” is the governmental body of the Island of Tenerife, part of the Canary Island archipelago, a peripheral region of the Spanish Nation and the European Union. The “Cabildo of Tenerife”, as is the case with the other Canary Island “Cabildos”, has been endowed with a series of responsibilities that are laid down in the Autonomic Statues of the Canary Islands, together with other responsibilities that have been delegated upon it by a number of territorial administrative bodies. Its organisational structure is based on eleven governmental areas which include the Department of the Environment, Territorial Sustainability and Water which has responsibility for the conservation and management of the environment, together with the management and reforestation of woodland areas. http://www.tenerife.es/wps/portal/tenerifees
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: ensure environmental sustainability. 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 Project: www.mirlo.co/es/
Corona Forestal Project: http://mirlo.co/es/proyectos/corona-forestal/presentacion/