The LIFE Stop Cortaderia project is possible thanks to the participation of the following associations and entities:
The AMICA Association, the beneficiary and coordinator of the LIFE project, is a private non-profit-making entity with the mission of discovering the capacities of each person and supporting him/her in his/her limitations, encouraging as much independence as possible, the enjoyment of his/her basic and citizen rights, and participation with responsibilities. Its objective is to promote the full development, the independence, the equal opportunities, and the right of the disabled to avoid any situation of discrimination or social exclusion, by providing support in keeping with individual needs and demands. The environment is one of its axes of action with special attention being paid to the elimination of invasive species of flora in natural spaces of Cantabria. In addition to being the beneficiary and coordinator of the LIFE project, AMICA also provides a forestry team in charge of the elimination of the pampas grass.
AMPROS, or the Cantabrian Association is a non-profit-making entity with the mission of supporting people with intellectual and development disabilities together with their families. It has a Special Employment Centre which provides opportunities for some 200 disabled people and firmly places its faith in the concept of “green employment” and the search for employment alternatives and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities so as to contribute towards the conservation of the environment in a positive context of social economy. AMPROS contributes to the LIFE project by providing a forestry team in charge of the elimination of the pampas grass.
Câmara Municipal de Vila Nova de Gaia
The mission of the Town Council of Vila Nova de Gaia is defining and implementing the policies in defence of the interests of its local population; the environment is one of its work areas. The Council is therefore the manager of the Biological Park of Gaia, a permanent centre devoted to environmental education and responsible for the management and conservation of a agroforestry area of 35 hectares, and also of various natural areas of the municipality of Gaia. It also manages the wildlife recovery centre for animals which are injured or have been rescued from illegal trade. The role of the Town Council of Vila Nova de Gaia will be to raise awareness and inform of the problem of the pampas grass in Portugal and to train key players in the region.
ESAC-Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra
The Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, IPC) is a public higher education body founded in 1979 which includes six training centres covering various scientific areas: Health, Education, Engineering, Economics, Agriculture, and the Environment. This institute includes among its centres the Higher Agricultural School of Coimbra (Escuela Superior Agraria de Coimbra, ESAC), which concentrates its activities on agriculture, forestry, food, and the environment. It carries out both Portuguese and international research projects which include the field of species of invasive flora. The role of the ESAC in the project is participation in the generation of scientific knowledge on the pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) and in the drawing up of a transnational strategy
Sociedad Española de Ornitología
The Spanish Association of Ornithology (Sociedad Española de Ornitología, SEO/BirdLife) is a scientific and conservationist body which was founded in 1954 and is devoted to the study and conservation of birds, theirs habitats, and nature in general. It is therefore the doyen of nature conservation NGOs in Spain with over 50 years of uninterrupted activity. It has been declared an association of Public Use and has received many awards including the National Environmental Prize (1994) and the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) Prize for the conservation of biodiversity (2004). According to its Statutes the aims and objectives of SEO/BirdLife are as follows:
- The conservation of wild birds and their habitat in Spanish territory and also through BirdLife International contributing to the conservation of world biodiversity.
- The carrying out of scientific studies to increase knowledge of wild birds and their habitats, in particular as an essential tool for their conservation.
Its role in the LIFE project is the technical implementation and follow-up of the actions and also the communication and dissemination of the project as a whole.
SERCA is a Spanish Employment Centre which was founded in 1983 as part of the Municipal Board of Education of the Town Council of Torrelavega. It has been in continuous evolution ever since and is divided into different areas. This process of constant development has diversified the activities of SERCA into their current form for the providing of services such as environmental restoration, the production of ornamental plants and forestry, training for employment, farming work, and cleaning and maintenances services. It contributes to the LIFE project a forestry team in charge of the elimination of the pampas grass and the production of autochthonous plants used to restore the working areas.