The ‘Cajamar Forest’ contributes to the fight against climate change and the improvement of biodiversity through the recovery of native species adapted to the environment.

Cajamar will undertake this February a comprehensive reforestation campaign in a plot of land currently owned by the organization in the municipality of Maria, north of the province of Almeria. The action promoted by the entity and located in the surroundings of the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park, an enclave of high ecological and environmental value, aims to promote the capture of CO2 from the atmosphere, the protection of biodiversity of local ecosystems and the fight against erosion and soil loss.

This environmental action designed and promoted by the entity itself, called ‘Cajamar Forest’, will contribute to the recovery of an area of 27.54 hectares and will be developed during the months of February and March in collaboration with the Ministry of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy of the Junta de Andalucía and the Directorate of the Natural Park.

As Roberto García Torrente, Director of Sustainable Development, reminds us, at Cajamar we have been reducing our carbon footprint and contributing to improving the communities in which we operate for many years. “In addition to implementing energy efficiency measures so that all the electricity we consume comes from renewable sources, we have been offsetting our carbon footprint by financing reforestation projects carried out by third parties in other countries. And now we are going a step further with this own action that we are undertaking in the Sierra de María-Los Vélez, being ourselves directly the promoters of the reforestation and using all the local resources available for it, thus increasing the positive impact of this initiative”.

Integral performance

The ‘Cajamar Forest’ project is presented as a comprehensive action aimed at increasing the forest area in a particularly sensitive territory, which will reduce the risk of desertification, the impact of erosion by runoff and soil loss, improving its structure and organic composition through the effective recovery of the lost tree cover. For this purpose, the specialists involved in the design of this initiative have selected native species, adapted to the environment and which have shown greater resilience to local ecological conditions: Aleppo pine, holm oak, gall oak, juniper, maple and hawthorn.

In addition to the recovery of forest mass, different accompanying actions have been programmed to protect the environmental heritage and promote biodiversity in the area. These include the restoration of a natural water outcrop in the ‘Las Fuentes’ area, which feeds a pond traditionally used by the local community for agricultural work and as a leisure area. As well as the creation of small ‘sowing patches’ of leguminous plants and grasses in dry land, which will allow the maintenance of permanent meadows to favor and ensure the natural establishment of local flora and fauna, some of which are endemic.

Long-term benefits

This reforestation contributes to transfer to the local area of Sierra María-Los Vélez the actions recommended by European and national institutions in the fight against climate change and protection of biodiversity, in this case facilitating the conversion of land from agricultural to forestry use. In addition, the actions to be carried out by Cajamar will help to improve the ecological, scenic and tourist values of the natural area, satisfying the environmental and social needs of the territory, and promoting economic activity in a rural area at risk of depopulation.

The company responsible for the execution of this environmental action is CO2 Revolution, specialized in integral reforestation projects, which acts together with other local companies with roots in the region. For Juan Carlos Sesma, founder of this company, “the recovery of forests is fundamental because it allows to promote productive forestry, tourism and environmental and social development improvements”.

Hence, this reforestation campaign will also contribute to the creation of direct employment in the area, both for the land preparation work carried out in January and for the sowing and planting work to be carried out in February and March.

In addition to the execution of the first phase of this forest mass recovery campaign that will be carried out during these months, Cajamar has programmed a continuous monitoring over the next 35 years, the period of validity of the CO2 absorption rights linked to this initiative. Thus, as a whole, it is estimated that the planned actions will generate an initial volume of absorption of 354 tons of CO2 in the first year, which will total 1,943 tons over a period of 35 years.