Skills for life
Start date: Jan 1, 2015,
End date: Jan 1, 2016
In this 6 month long EVS project two volunteers - one man (26) from Spain and one woman from Italy (28)- were involved in the project "Life Berlengas" (until 2018) coordinated by portuguese organization SPEA (a member of Birdlife International), in Lisbon and Berlengas island. Both volunteers had experience and academic knownledge in biology.
SPEA's mission as an environmental NGO is to work towards the study and the conservation of wild birds and their habitats by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of the future generations. Therefore, SPEA'S main motivation to apply for EVS is to integrate young foreign people in the association and educate them about environmental citizenship, conservation of bird habitats (in this case in Portugal) and the principles of ornithology . Secondly SPEA expects volunteers to contribute to the implementation of the activties and projects of the association, mainly with external promotion and logistic support.
Moreover, most volunteers who express interest in SPEA's project will later professionally invest on this area and some of them become active members either SPEA or in other environmental organizations in their home countries. .
The project LIFE Berlengas contributes to the sustainable management of the Berlengas Special Protection Area (SPA), aiming the conservation of its habitats, seabird populations and endemic plants. To achieve this, the focus is on developing strategies to minimize or remove the main threats to the natural values of Berlengas, both on land and at sea. At the same time the project promotes the sustainable use of the Berlengas SPA, focusing on three key activities: fishing, recreational activities and tourism. A framework to prepare and approve an effective management plan for the Berlengas SPA will be implemented.
The work of the volunteers was very important for the achievement of the results defined by the project, because they become full members of the team and contrbuted directly for the execution of the planned actions and the implementation of its main objectives. he volunteers have laso developed high quaility competences that will allow them to become workers in the area of biology.
The main objectives of the LIFE Berlengas are:
-Preserving the endemic plants through the control and eradication of invasive alien plants
- Protection of seabird populations, identification of their foraging areas and minimize potential interactions with boats and fishing gears
- Conservation of indigenous plants and seabird populations through the Yellow-legged gull population control and by the removal of introduced mammals
- Engage withall the stakeholders to establish sustainable practices for the Special Protection Area (SPA) management
- Inform and raise public awareness for the importance of a proper sustainable management of the Berlengas archipelago to preserve its natural and cultural values.
The main tasks of the volunteers were:
- to support in the tasks of Life Berlengas ( control of invasive species in Berlenga island, monitoring of breeding birds on the island )
- to sensitize the fishermen in relation to seabird conservation
- to create and manage databases
-to insert data from marine census
- to make Census of seabird
- to support the dissemination of the project in the SPEA channels.
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