RESTORATION OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS IN PROTECTED AREAS IN THE ALPS AND PYRENEES

Partners

Coordinator

Spanish National research Council (CSIC)

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain and the third largest in Europe.

Two CSIC research institutes are involved in this project, the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB) and the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA).

Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB)

The CEAB‘s research is focused on identifying the diversity of aquatic organisms and understanding their functions and interactions in nature, as well as the application of this knowledge in the use and rational management of our planet’s resources and the prediction of responses to environmental modifications. One of the most outstanding aspects of the CEAB research is the study of invasive species, both their role in the receiving ecosystems and management mechanisms.

CEAB works in collaboration with state or regional agencies to improve the conservation of ecosystems. Among them, it has an important research group specialized in the study and conservation of high mountain lakes. It has participated in numerous projects financed by the European Commission using high mountain lakes as sensors of environmental and climatic changes.

Co-financiers

Ajuntament de Lladorre

Lladorre is a municipality of about 250 inhabitants, located in the Pallars Sobirà region. Eighty per cent of the area of Lladorre is included in L’Alt Pirineu Natural Park, and its local government is committed to the conservation of its natural heritage and biodiversity.

Ajuntament d’Espot

Espot is a municipality of about 360 inhabitants, located in the Pallars Sobirà region. An emblematic part of Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park is included in the municipality of Espot, for example the Encantats and Lake Sant Maurici. The local government is committed to the conservation of its natural heritage and biodiversity.

Fundació Andrena

The Andrena Foundation was founded by the Gallés family. Its main objective is to improve the functions and resilience of freshwater ecosystems, by means of science-based ecological restoration.

The Foundation works with organizations and scientists focused on freshwater ecology.

Ente Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso

Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso is a protected area established by the Italian State in order to preserve ecosystems of national and international relevance in the valleys around the Gran Paradiso massif, for present and future generations.

The aim of the Body is therefore to manage and preserve the protected area, maintain the biodiversity of this territory and its landscape, scientific research, environmental education, development and promotion of sustainable tourism.

Associated beneficiaries

Conselh Generau d’Aran, Departament d’Agricultura, Ramaderia e Miei Naturau

The Conselh Generau d’Aran (ARAN) is the main institution of the government of the Val d’Aran. The Conselh Generau has authority with regard to the protections of nature, mountains and forest paths, and the protection of agriculture, livestock, fishing, hunting and forestry resources.

The Conselh Generau has participated in several EC-funded LIFE and INTER-REG projects and has a brigade of environmental agents and fish wardens with experience in monitoring populations of fish, including Cottus hispaniolensis, Salmo trutta and Phoxinus sp.

Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA)

IDAEA is an environmental science institute devoted to the study of the human footprint on the biosphere. Its goal is to contribute to solve 21st century environmental problems by providing the scientific community with high-quality research, and by raising citizens’ awareness of environmental pollutants.

University of Calabria

UNICAL was established in 1968 (Law n. 422 of May 12, 1968) to boost the cultural, social and economic growth of the students and society in Calabria. In its first half-century of life, the University has kept faith with its founding values by making the Campus a place for debate and examination of other experiences and by building an academic community that fully identifies with the mission of contributing to the development of knowledge, cultural education, civil progress and economic development of the area where it operates.

Research activities are carried out both in the several laboratories, 32 of which are geared with top-quality equipment, and in some large inter-departmental infrastructures, in particular the SILA – Integrated System of Laboratories for the Environment. With respect to technical innovation, Unical enhances the results of its research with a large portfolio of patents, dozens of academic spin-offs and innovative startups, with the support of the academic incubator TechNest and the Liaison Office.

Forestal Catalana, S.A.

Forestal Catalana is a public company whose area of activity is Catalonia.

Its aim is the provision of services, technical assistance, preservation of flora and fauna and management of the natural environment. Among other abilities Forestal Catalana has experience in producing and commercializing plants and seeds for reforestation and environmental restoration. They can also design, construct, preserve, explore and restore buildings and infrastructures in natural areas as well as perform silvicultural and reforestation work and fight against erosion.

The environment management area of Forestal Catalana is responsible for breeding threatened species in captivity and recovering protected species.

Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament d’Acció Climàtica, Alimentació i Agenda Rural

The Direcció General del Medi Natural i Biodiversitat is part of the Departament d’Acció Climàtica, Alimentació i Agenda Rural of the Generalitat de Catalunya. This Directorate General is the environmental unit for the territory of Catalonia competent in the planning and management of nature and natural resources. The Protected Natural Areas service and, in particular, l’Alt Pirineu Natural Park and Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici National Park will participate in this project. They are part of the Subdirecció General del Medi Natural i Biodiversitat.

The service has extensive experience in European projects for the conservation of threatened species (freshwater bivalves, grouse, brown bear, Audouin’s gull, fish, etc.); acting as beneficiaries, partners or cofinanciers.

Associació La Sorellona

Associació La Sorellona is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education and awareness and nature conservation. It was established in 2013 by a team of biologists, environmentalists and other graduates in the field of natural resources management.

This NGO works on the design and implementation of environmental education activities, dissemination of environmental issues, the promotion of environmental volunteering, summer camps for children and work camps for young people, and other related activities. At the same time, it has begun a fruitful line of nature conservation projects, especially in the field of continental aquatic systems and their most threatened wildlife.

Associació La Sorellona currently has a technical office made up of nature conservation technicians and environmental educators with extensive demonstrable experience, as well as numerous specialized collaborators who work for the entity on a timely basis, either as professionals or as volunteers.

Sorelló, Estudis al Medi Aquàtic S.L.

Sorelló is a young Company specialised in the provision of technical and scientific consultancy services for the management and preservation of species and continental aquatic ecosystems.

Sorelló has taken over numerous projects of study and tracking of native and threatened species, exotic invasive species; species from river, lacustrine or marsh habitats, water quality and ecological status, stream connectivity, etc. In the field of exotic species management, Sorelló has designed and executed experimental projects of elimination and intensive control of fish fauna. It also carries out environmental education and environmental awareness-raising activities.

University of Barcelona

The University of Barcelona is considered one of the 200 best universities in the world. The Department of Plant Biology is involved in research projects on plant physiology, vegetation science, plant population biology and botanical preservation among others.

The researchers involved in the project LIFE RESQUE ALPYR are part of a research group experienced in high mountain flora and vegetation, vegetation mapping and restauration, which is the basis of their commitment.

University of Pavia

The University of Pavia is one of the oldest universities in Europe. Several researchers and technicians from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences – DSTA will be involved in the conservation, monitoring, communication and coordination actions implemented in the project LIFE RESQUE ALPYR.

The Department will provide infrastructure (e.g., the Laboratory of Ecology, equipped with microscopes and stereomicroscopes) which are necessary for the project’s implementation. The Department staff have experience in several topics related to the LIFE RESQUE ALPYR proposal, such as restoration ecology, fish eradication, fish ecology, aquatic invertebrate taxonomy and ecology, herpetology, botany and cartography.

They also have considerable experience in EU-funded projects, including LIFE projects, and therefore full technical and administrative capacity to cope with the expected duties generated by the present proposal.

Water Research Institute (IRSA)

The National Research Council (CNR) is the major Italian public research institution, including more than 100 research institutes.

The Water Research Institute (IRSA) carries out studies on ecosystem structure and dynamics and on their response to anthropogenic pressures, and develops methods for environmental monitoring and restoration, mainly focusing on lakes. The Verbania site of CNR IRSA, formerly Istituto Italiano di Idrobiologia, started working on high mountain lakes in the 1940s integrating climatic and morphometric properties of watersheds and chemical analysis of lake water for an interpretation of the biological features of lakes. Studies on high mountain lakes have covered topics such as biogeography, genetics, effects of long-range transport of pollutants and climate change.

The staff of the institute has collaborated on and coordinated several EU funded research and conservation projects, including LIFE projects.

Ente Parco Naturale Mont Avic

Parco Naturale Mont Avic stretches over 5,747 hectares in the Chalamy (municipality of Champdepraz) and Champorcher (municipality of Champorcher) valleys. MANP has been declared a Special Conservation Site (IT1202000 – Parco Naturale Mont Avic) and is included in Special Protection Area IT1202020 – Mont Avic and Mont Emilius of the EU Natura 2000 Network (Council of the European Communities, 1979, 1992).

The aim of the MANP is to manage and preserve the protected area, maintain biodiversity, scientific research, environmental education, development and promotion of sustainable tourism, together with Parc National de la Vanoise and Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso. In 2007 the MANP obtained the European Diploma of Protected Areas, a prestigious acknowledgement awarded by the Council of Europe.