16 January 2024

Community of Practice in Spain: Spanish National Strategy for Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem restoration

The SELINA Community of Practice (CoP) in Spain is an integral part of the SELINA Demonstration Project (DP01) led by URJC and MITECO. The primary focus of this DP includes identifying key green infrastructure (GI) elements at the national level, based on the ecosystem services (ES) they offer, their connectivity, and biodiversity. Additionally, it seeks to pinpoint hotspots of ES potential using GI elements and delineate areas requiring restoration or protection based on their potential to provide ES, connectivity, and conserve biodiversity.

The SELINA Demonstration Project (DP) and the Community of Practice in Spain focus on identifying significant elements of green infrastructure on a national scale. The main activities of the DP and CoP include an in-depth analysis of the environmental landscape, assessing vital ecosystems, ecological corridors, biodiversity hotspots, potential restoration sites, and climate change mitigation measures. The insights will inform national decisions regarding the preservation of significant green infrastructure elements.

On 31 October 2023, a green infrastructure working group comprising MITECO representatives, Tragsatec, autonomous community technicians, and three collaborating universities gathered online for a workshop on applying the Methodological guide for identifying green infrastructure elements (MITECO, 2021). This meeting marked the first of the CoP meetings involving almost the entire group of stakeholders identified. Invitations were extended to 58 people from the Autonomous communities in Spain, MITECO, URCJ, UPM, University of Seville (U. Sevilla - CTFC), and Tragsatec.

During the meeting, MITECO opened the session, URJC elaborated on methodologies for ecosystem service assessment and mapping, UPM presented an approach to assess ecological connectivity, and U. Sevilla-CTFC introduced methodological enhancements for calculating and cartographically representing ecological connectivity in river ecosystems.

For 2024, at least two meetings are planned to advance the activities of the CoP, focusing on the application of the latest version of the guide in different Autonomous Regions, enabling the development of regional green infrastructure plans by July 2024.