GNF - 7th Project Meeting get grEEN in Spain

Environmental Education on Organic Farming, Ecotourism and Volunteering. Common Action Plan.




Topic of the meeting:

Valencia (Spain)

11 - 12 June 2012

Environmental Education on Organic Farming, Ecotourism and Volunteering. Common Action Plan.


Project implementation


The wrap-up meeting of the get grEEN network took place in Valencia in June 2012. Project activities for the last two years were analysed by the project partners. Various ideas on issues forming the base for future cooperation of the network partners were discussed. The meeting concentrated on following sub-issues for environmental education:

  • environmental education for tourists;
  • promotion and interconnection of organic farming initiatives in partner countries via the get grEEN network;
  • education on sustainable energy initiatives in Spain and Poland;                   
  • volunteers´ involvement and creation of a volunteer network including different social and age groups, volunteer exchange between countries.

Field Visits 


Marjal del moro

Between mountains and the sea, to the East from Sierra Calderona, is located Marjal del moro, a paradise for birds.. This very special landscape is situated about 15 km from the city of Valencia. This wetland was once a part of rice and then orange and vegetable plantations. The industry was drawing closer and closer. Nearly all the water springs disappeared. Thanks to the work of a volunteers group, during the period of law profitability of these cultivations, some land plots could be bought. In 1996, the zone was declared as a special bird protection area ZEPA (Zona de Especial Protección para las Aves) as well as an area of special common interest LIC (Lugar de Interés Comunitario). The number and variety of birds grew very quickly. At the moment, there are 249 registered species. Step by step some parts of the territory were fully recuperated.


Marjal d´almenara (ae-agró)

Marjal de Almenara is a part of the Natura2000-network. It consists of 1,550 ha being also included into the area of special common interest LIC (Lugar de Interés Comunitario). Different habitat types representing typical landscapes of the area can be found here. It is a zone with an outstanding biodiversity.



The general idea of environmental education is to establish a learning process that increases people’s knowledge and awareness about the environment and associated challenges, develop the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges, foster attitudes, motivation and commitment to take responsible decisions and actions.


Opportunities for environmental education in tourism and ecotourism were figured out:

  • adverts in buses, hotels, airplanes, and tourist information centres;
  • start of more offers of “ecotourism” going beyond “normal” nature excursions to promote a sustainable way of tourism;
  • increase the interest of people to visit ecological farms, so they can experience ecological agriculture;
  • to inform the local government as well as tourism agencies and involve them in projects;
  • get the interest of more supporting organizations to start/fund more projects.

Sustainable farming is an important component in the prevention of further negative influence by non-organic-agriculture to the environment. Environmental education on and for farming should play a crucial role within the frame of European agricultural policy and could be realised by:

  • starting “round-tables” for organic farmers and non-organic farmers;
  • campaigns against spraying plants with fertilizer and pesticides to avoid more harm at local lakes, flora and fauna;
  • helping farmers  to convert  to organic farming;
  • exhibitions to inform local people and general public about organic farming;
  • establishment of a network of organic farmers for exchange and common actions.

Involving volunteers was  the next topic of interest of the participating partners. Following opportunities and methods were discussed during the meeting:

  • to offer a volunteering-year at an NGO;
  • promotion of volunteering among older people;
  • to honour the volunteering year by a certification;
  • to make volunteering more attractive through free of charge services (food, accommodation);
  • start a new kind of “volunteer-organic-farmer-network” where they can communicate and exchange workers, ideas and interests between different countries;
  • attract more volunteers for nature conservation in rural areas.

Summarizing the meeting, the partners from Poland, Spain and Germany had got a lot of ideas of what they could implement in their countries as well as enough inspiration to continue cooperation. The broadening of the partnership and involvement of further partners from Hungary, Turkey, Austria, Swiss, France, England, Croatia and Slovenia is planned: a bigger network means more information, more inspiring ideas, more exchange of experiences.



Ayuntamiento de Villacañas, Spain: Angeles Pontes, Julio Raboso, Rocio Simón, Teresa Aparicio


ETNA, Poland: Roman Guziak, Ewa Zuber, Jerzy Zuber


Fundación Global Nature, Spain: Antonio Guillem, Jordi Domingo


Global Nature Fund, Germany: Magdalena Bammer, Katja Weickmann

 Wetlands near Valencia
 Field trip
 Field trip: information board
 Observation Plattform
 Pedestrian path along the shoreline
 Sun collector
 Organic farming of nectarines