AlVelAl is in the Regional Assembly of the Eichstätt District, Germany

This is the third time that the Regional Assembly of the Eichstätt District visits Los Vélez. The regional assembly is formed by different authorities from the Altmühltal Natural Park and 30 mayors of the area. The meeting was very productive to analyze new possibilities of collaboration due to the good relation that has been developed since the twinning of the Natural Parks.

One of the ideas proposed by the president of AlVelAl is to jointly elaborate organic beer. AlVelAl is a traditional area for cereal cropping and cereal meadows are an important habitat for biodiversity. On the other hand, the Eichstätt District is one of the biggest producers of hops in Germany. The regional assembly was very enthusiastic about this idea.

During the last 26 years the twinning has promoted numerous activities, such as the secondary school student exchanges or the promotion of traditional activities. Additionally, several young people have found employment thanks to this twinning agreement.

I AlVelAl Colloquium: a unique geographic reality

Collaboration between Huéscar Council, Vélez Blanco Council, Centre for Historical Studies of Granada and the AlVelAl Association has organized the first debate of a series within the program “AlVelAl Colloquiums”. The title was “The re-organization of the territory from the Old Regime to the Liberal State”. The inspiration for this colloquium was the historical fact that Francisco Javier de Burgos designed the maps of provinces in Spain in 1883, causing the deep transformation of the geopolitical structure in the peninsula.

In this context emerge the AlVelAl Association (Altiplano, Vélez y Almanzora, Guadix y Noroeste de Murcia) bringing together the history, culture and the heritage of an ancient common land.

AlVelAl opens the bottom ‘4 Returns’ Common Land

As we referred in the last newsletter, AlVelAl Association and Commonland are launching the 4 return fund. This fund consists on loans up to 5.000€ for different business projects. The idea is to promote high impact business cases within the 4 return framework. The first project is “Stop Erosion” leaded by the local company “Enarmonia” and it will offer a service to design and create swales in farms to increase the capacity of water retention in the soil. To make it possible they need a “swale maker” whose costs are covered by the loan. The project has demonstrated to have high impact in landscape restoration and 4 returns:

  • Return of Inspiration due to the visual improvement and landscape beautification
  • Return of Social Capital by helping to create job opportunities and making farmers part of the restoration process
  • Return of Natural Capital by improving the landscape configuration, reducing erosion and increasing water infiltration
  • Return of Financial Capital by improving economic viability and increasing yields

AlVelAl faces: Elvira Marín Irigaray

Elvira is the new technical assistant at the AlVelAl Association. She was born in Granada, but she has her family roots in Puebla de Don Fadriques. Elvira was living in Almería until recently. She is passionate about nature with a degree in Environmental Sciences. Because of her commitment to social and environmental causes she has worked with different NGO’s promoting environmental education and awareness in the local landscapes.

She has developed skills in organic agriculture and hydrology, and this allowed her to manage an office for urban consultancy in the Alpujarra Almeriense. Proving her entrepreneurial character, she co-created La Pita Verde, a social-environmental Consultancy. Currently, she is studying her master in Landscape, Heritage and Territory and doing her project in Cabo de Gata-Níjar.

She supports AlVelAl in the administration, organization, communication and funding. In her own words “this project is an opportunity to commit myself to bring dynamism to this land, not just in my professional career but as a personal adventure”.