An example of the type of land which could be used for reforestation. / sur

Councils in Malaga province encouraged to hand over unused land for reforestation projects

The Diputación programme aims to reduce the carbon footprint and enhance the appearance of sites which have been abandoned

MATÍAS STUBER Malaga

What should be done with land which is owned by a council but is not being used for anything? The Malaga provincial authority (Diputación de Malaga) believes it should be used for environmental purposes which will reduce the carbon footprint and it has created a register, a municipal land bank, where councils in the province can provide details of land of this type. So far, 15 local authorities have offered land for reforestation and it is hoped that more will join in with the scheme.

Three projects have been completed since the scheme started last November, in Valle de Abdalajís, Ardales and Alameda, on land which had been used in the past for landfill or growing olives but has since been abandoned.

“With this programme,” said Cristóbal Ortega of the Diputación, “we achieve a double objective: we are capturing CO2 and reducing the carbon footprint, and also recovering wasteland which will help biodiversity and improve the appearance of some areas of the province."

To take part in the programme, the land must be owned by the council and be at least one hectare in size. The local authorities must also agree to irrigate the new trees twice during the first two consecutive summers after they are planted and comply with the Ministry of Ecological Transition’s other minimum commitments for projects to reduce carbon footprint.