The mission of the Green Helmets is to contribute to the fight against desertification and care for the environment, avoiding the degradation of ecosystems and contributing to the mitigation of climate change. Our first year of activity will be developed in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia (Spain), focusing on three fundamental aspects: training, microproject support and reforestation.
The Green Helmets project will begin its journey in Andalusia, a region that covers an area of 87,268 km², equivalent to 17.3% of the Spanish territory, making it comparable to many European countries, both in terms of surface area and internal complexity. It is the most populated autonomous community in the country, with 8.4 million inhabitants in 2020 and the second largest.
Andalusia is a mosaic of unique landscapes that have been recognized, starting from the first autonomous law of natural areas (1989), for its ecological, historical and cultural values.
After more than 30 years of commitment to the conservation of this natural heritage, Andalusia maintains one of the most important natural heritages in Europe. With 2.9 million hectares, Andalusia has become the autonomous community with the largest protected area in Spain, surpassing in extension the total area of some European Union countries, such as Slovenia and Cyprus, Malta and Luxembourg.
Green Helmets is an educational project that aims to train young people and adults so that they can propose and implement their own nature conservation projects. All participants who complete the training will receive a certificate from CIFAL Malaga - UNITAR, in recognition of their contribution to the fight against climate change and the protection of the environment.
During the first year, the Green Helmets program will select and finance 10 micro-projects of nature-based solutions from among those submitted by students in Andalusia after completing the training.
Subsequently, the project could be scalable to other Spanish regions and other countries, in collaboration with public and private institutions whose financial and logistical support could contribute to replicating the initiative in the five continents.
Educating and raising awareness among some 9,000 students of Andalusia between the ages of 11 and 18 through our virtual training classroom, on topics related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda and sustainability.
Participation in all activities is free of charge
Virtual classroom for training on environmental sustainability
Training and capacity building:
CIFAL Malaga-UNITAR has created a virtual classroom designed to train young students, trainers and all those interested in the field of environmental sustainability, who want to become familiar with the development and implementation of projects in the field.
There are two itineraries:
Nature-based solutions projects:
Those students who complete the training will be invited to join a call for projects. In total, we will fund 10 microprojects in the Andalusian region with the support of the Junta de Andalucía. There will be a selection committee (Amazon - Junta Andalucía - CIFAL Málaga UNITAR) to decide which projects will receive funding of 10,000 euros per project.
Only nature conservation and restoration projects will be funded, e.g. reforestation, river or beach clean-up, biodiversity conservation, etc. All projects must include a partnership with a local NGO.
In order to submit a microproject, it is necessary to complete the training course.
Call for nature-based solutions projects
Major reforestation project in Sierra Bermeja area
In addition to the microprojects, a large reforestation project is being planned for the Sierra Bermeja area, a mountain range in the southwest of the Ronda mountain range in Spain, an area that lost a large part of its forest cover due to a recent forest fire; 8,400 hectares were affected.
The reforestation project will aim to mobilize more than 2,500 volunteers from the region during the reforestation days, to work on the reforestation of 5,000,000 m2 (500 hectares) of the damaged area, with 90,000 seedlings of native species such as cork oak, carob and pine, among others.