Thematic events such as conferences and sector fairs are essential for establishing new contacts and strengthening existing ones, as well as for giving visibility to the work carried out in projects such as ‘Fleurs Locales’. This highlights the work done by the partner Semillas Silvestres which went on tour during the autumn months. For example, last October 6 they participated in Iberflora, a professional event in the green sector in Europe and a benchmark among gardening fairs and at which they garnered great interest.
The ‘Fleurs Locales’ project has a group of associated beneficiaries from the three countries who meet regularly to update on the status of the country and to move forward in their role.
Their participation is fundamental for the project’s development and, above all, for achieving its ambitious final objectives, i.e. the elaboration, experimentation and capitalization of protocols and technical itineraries for the implementation of mixtures of native plants adapted to Mediterranean environments; the structuring of value chains for the restoration of biodiversity through indigenous plants, involving all socio-economic operators from producer to buyer, and the support of space managers and territorial managers, in particular local public authorities at the national level, in the implementation of territorially agreed action plans.
The Internet is a powerful tool for bringing messages and projects to society. In the case of ‘Fleurs Locales’, the project can be followed with the hashtag #fleurslocales, allowing those interested to follow the publications of the partners and actors involved, with great potential for creating alliances and conversations.
But a project like this also requires raising awareness of the importance of using native seeds to restore degraded spaces wherever possible. Social media is therefore useful because it allows local issues to have a greater impact, to cross borders and become global. Moreover, it is one of the most important platforms today, not only for its ability to quickly reach a large audience, but for the easy accessibility for any person or entity.
The work carried out by the Conservatoire d’espaces naturels d’Occitanie on platforms such as Twitter or Facebook with ‘Fleurs Locales’ is a good example of this: they use multimedia material to describe varied activities directly from the field. You can consult their publications at this link.
The ‘Fleurs Locales’ team carried out a journey of knowledge in November with the aim of recovering degraded spaces with native seeds. In this case, the discovery was twofold: on the one hand, a successful case, that of HEPIA, part of a Swiss university that has been working with native seeds for more than a decade; and, on the other hand, the trip allowed the different members to meet personally and exchange information, as this was the first face-to-face contact since the project started. Both aspects were more than satisfactory.
One of the great challenges of ‘Fleurs Locales’ has a double aspect: firstly, to define what is meant by indigenous seeds, and secondly to obtain those indigenous seeds (or mixtures) to sow in the pilot farms and to use for research.
Therefore, after months of work, an initial document has been published in four languages (Spanish, French, English and Portuguese) with the results of the literature review on indigenous species suitable for Mediterranean agroecosystems. In this way, the seeds available in the market have been identified and the most promising species have been selected according to the specifications of the restoration in each place.
The Fleurs Locales project seeks to lay the groundwork for reclaiming degraded spaces with native seeds and flowers that generate biodiversity. But businesses and beneficiaries can take many forms and interests. We spoke to Christophe, an organic goat and sheep farmer in Villeveyrac, Hérault, Montpellier, who also holds the position of president of the FAB’LIM association
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