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Green Belt of Bay of Santander: connecting nature and city

Project has a overall objective

Halting loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services in the Bay of Santander and restore them insofar as possible by creating green and blue infraestructure (GI&BI) “Green Belt Bay of Santander”, which will provide ecosystem services society in general and, specifically, people of the Bay of Santander. Objective related to the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 (2020 Headline Goal and Objetives 2 and 5); also related to the objectives of Regulation EU Nº1293/2013 concerning the LIFE Programme to support better environmental governance (Article 3, point c) and contribute to development of the EU Strategy on Biodiversity (Article 11, point a).

Project´s Specific Objectives

  • Designing the Green Belt Bay of Santander, meant to be permanent and long-term sustainability, developing appropriate management tools and funding.
  • Restoring characteristic ecosystems of the Bay of Santander, including removal of invasive alien species.
  • Improving the connectivity of natural areas of Bay of Santander, from ecological point of view and sustainable mobility, allowing unite areas make the GI&BI “Green Belt Bay of Santander” among themselves and between natural areas and cities.
  • Raising public awareness on natural, cultural, social values Santander Bay through the GI&BI Green Belt Bay of Santander, placing value on the territory as a sustainable tourist destination.
  • Foster expansion of the Green Belt Bay of Santander searching for land stewardship agreements with owners of public and private land.

Actions and means involved

The Project will be done in 48 months. It has 30 actions. It will be executed by FNYH and MARE. FNYH offers Eco-museo Fluviarium to education activities and environmental awareness and El Pendo nursery in order to product native plants to be used in restoration actions. FNYH accumulated experience of over 15 years in environmental restoration works in Bay of Santander. Project´s actions allow creating a new green and blue infrastructure to be called “Green Belt Bay of Santander”. The main actions are summarized in following:

  • Green Belt delimitation and rezone.
  • Main ecosystems of Santander Bay restoration: coastal wetlands, inland wetlands, relict holm oaks and islands of Bay of Santander.
  • Invasive species removal. Cortaderia selloana y Baccharis halimifolia will be priority to be eradicated. Connectivity areas will be important to remove invasive plants.
  • Constant search for custody agreements and achievement of objectives will ensure project sustainability.
  • Project communication and dissemination will focus on an ambitious environmental education program. It aims to highlight Green Belt in daily life of local people.
  • Project has a planning tourism action that it aims to convert Green Belt in a new tourist resource. It will also contribute to tourism diversification and employment.

Expected results

  • Creation of the green and blue infrastructure (GI & BI), Green Belt of Bay of Santander, designing the basic tools for proper and sustainable management over time.
  • Passed the territorial fragmentation by improving the ecological connectivity intra- Reserves and inter-Reserves, and promoting sustainable mobility through trails and other roads elements to improve public use of natural areas. The project aims to improve connectivity between reserves themselves and between these and major population centers.
  • Evaluated the ecosystem services of the bay of Santander and the increase obtained by the execution of the Project.