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Agreement with the City Council of Santa Coloma for the renaturation of the River Besòs

The UB will support the project through the academic activities at the Faculty of Biology.

The UB will support the project through the academic activities at the Faculty of Biology.

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) and the City Council of Santa Coloma de Gramenet started the works of the renaturation project last month.

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) and the City Council of Santa Coloma de Gramenet started the works of the renaturation project last month.

22/06/2022

Institucional

The rector of the UB, Joan Guàrdia, and the mayor of the City Council of Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Núria Parlon, signed a collaboration agreement as part of the Renaturation project for the River Besòs and one of their main strategies, the creation of a Refuge for Biodiversity.

The UB will support the project through the academic activities at the Faculty of Biology, and the members of the faculty Dolors Vinyoles and Gustavo Llorente will take part in the Scientific Advisory Committee for the creation of the refuge for biodiversity. Both will provide their knowledge on how to create the ideal habitat conditions to host the native fish and amphibian species of the area and favour their reproduction. 

The agreement is framed within the line of advancing in the evolution of the River Besòs towards an infrastructure that juggles the citizen use and the protection and recovery of the biodiversity and the improvement of the resilience of the river ecosystem regarding the climate change effects. The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) and the City Council of Santa Coloma de Gramenet started the works of the renaturation project last month, and they have started the search for funding through the Next Generation Fund. 

The rector of the University of Barcelona, Joan Guàrdia, stated that the new agreement “is a great opportunity because it completes the aim of a public university, knowledge transfer. Research is important, but it has to be useful to citizens in the short term. The City Council of Santa Coloma is model as a catalyzer for this transfer process”.

The mayor of Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Núria Parlón, said that this agreement shows a “necessary alliance to build the renaturation project” and is convinced that “it will help the scientific, pedagogic and citizen dissemination of the river renaturation”. “The River Besòs has undergone a vital transformation for Santa Coloma. It went from being a forgotten space to a place with several citizen uses, which we can enjoy in terms of the ecosystem and biodiversity”, she concluded.

Since 2014, Dolors Vinyoles and her team have worked with the City Council of Santa Coloma de Gramenet making scientific censuses on the fish that live in River Besòs, a river that was one of the most pollutant in Europe during the 80s and had no signs of life left. In addition to the scientific monitoring of fish populations, the project has involved citizens to take part in the project in a playful way.  

The study on the amphibians carried out by the researcher Llorente and his team is important for improving the state of the populations of these species in such a river environment like Besòs. The amphibians, due to their lifestyle, are fully linked to the water environment, which is essential to complete their biological cycle. “The tasks of the biologists and naturalists in urban environments that are strongly anthropized like the River Besòs is a key element to improve the state of conservation of biodiversity, to improve the wellbeing of people, strengthen the human-nature relationship and enhance the preservation of nature regarding future generations”, note both researchers, members of the Biodiversity Research Institute of the University of Barcelona (IRBio-UB).

 

 

 

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