In the new financing period 2021-2027, the Biodiversity Foundation will begin to manage the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with the aim of contributing to the National Strategy for Green Infrastructure, Connectivity and Ecological Restoration (IVCRE), the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change and other important policies to be materialized with transformative interventions in the territory. It will address interventions related to knowledge generation, bioeconomy, marine environment and urban environments.
In order to implement the objective of integrating biodiversity conservation into the planning and management of the entire territory, the Biodiversity Foundation is managing two calls for grants for the renaturalization and resilience of cities within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), financed by the European Union – NextGenerationEU. A total of 120 million euros will be allocated.
These grants seek to promote activities that contribute to urban renaturalization, improving ecological connectivity, increasing biodiversity and generating nature-based solutions to address key challenges for Spanish cities such as adapting to climate change, improving environmental quality and through the promotion of green infrastructure and the connectivity of green and blue spaces, to increase biodiversity, improve its conservation, adapt to climate change, improve environmental quality and create healthy spaces.
The Biodiversity Foundation is managing a call for grants for the restoration of river ecosystems and flood risk reduction in Spanish urban environments, with a commitment to nature-based solutions, amounting to €75M.
The actions proposed are focused on the recovery of copses and riparian forests, increase of river space, setback of motes, recovery of old channel branches, renaturalization of the river bed and plains in urban areas for flood lamination, elimination of transverse barriers, permeabilization of obstacles, control of invasive exotic species, stabilization of banks with bioengineering techniques, removal of concrete and breakwaters, among others.
In all cases, these are nature-based solutions that, in addition to restoring and increasing the biodiversity and environmental values of rivers, contribute significantly to reducing flood risks in their urban sections.
The Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), has launched the Collaboration Platform for the Climate Neutrality of Spanish Cities, an initiative to help Spanish cities to become climate neutral by 2030. Thus, Spain has been a pioneer within the European Union in promoting the creation of a Mirror Group of the Mission of Cities in Spain, which will support the joint definition of solutions to achieve this goal. The platform is conceived as an infrastructure for public action and is aimed at providing services to localities to facilitate and accelerate their transition towards decarbonization and resilience.
The Supervisory Board is formed by MITECO’s Biodiversity Foundation together with the Spanish Climate Change Office, which supports this initiative as a key tool to address climate emergency from urban environments. EIT Climate-KIC will be in charge of the operation of the platform, in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), which will contribute with its expertise in climate neutrality and collaborative organizational models in the framework of the ecological transition.