This morning, the Hotel Gran Capitán in Cordoba saw the inauguration of the Seminar "Land degradation and desertification in Andalusia and Spain", organized by the Gas Natural Foundation and the Ministry of the Environment of the Junta de Andalusia. The inauguration was attended by the General Manager of Gas Natural Andalusia, Andrés Membrillo.
The Seminar, the fourth of its kind to be organised jointly by these organisations in our Community, was held to present the results of two studies carried out on the problem of land degradation and desertification: one by the Gas Natural Foundation covering the whole of Spain, and another relating to Andalusia, carried out by the Ministry of the Environment of the Junta de Andalusia, at the request of the Andalusian Parliament; the latter dealing with the specific situation in the Autonomous Community.
The participants included Álvaro Feliu, a professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and author of the study "Land degradation and desertification in Spain" of the Gas Natural Foundation; José Guirado, Director General of Environmental Management of the Ministry of the Environment of the Junta de Andalusia, who presented "Andalusian Plan for Desertification Control" and José Luis González Rebollar, a member of the Scientific Research Council (CSIC).
The Seminar ended with a round table which debated an aspect which is considered key to solving the problem of land degradation: the participation of social players, and especially farmers and farming organizations. The table included major experts in this field such as José María Oliet, coordinator of the Environmental Management Authority of the Junta de Andalusia; Francisco Casero, chairman of the Andalusian Committee for Ecological Agriculture (CAAE); José Fernando Robles, head of Agricultural Land of the Agriculture Association of Young Farmers (ASAJA) of Andalusia, Elvira Domínguez, technical head of Environmental Matters of the Coordinating Committee of Farmers and Breeders Organisations (COAG) of Andalusia, and Joaquín Reina, member of the Standing Committee of Ecologists in Action, amongst others.
The sessions were also attended by numerous councillors and environmental technicians from the main Andalusian Town Councils, representatives of institutions and companies engaged in forestry, farmers, stock breeders and specialists in the environment, water and climate change, amongst others.
The Seminar was held in response to the desire of the Gas Natural Foundation and the Junta de Andalusia to work together and move forward in the search for solutions to help conserve and revitalise Spanish and Andalusian land, which have been heavily deteriorated by activities such as agriculture, stock breeding, industry, urban development or tourism. The Seminar held an in-depth analysis of the chief problems concerning land degradation and desertification and alternatives were proposed to address this problem within the framework of the debate on the New Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).