REPORT spain 2019
The Spanish week
We paid special attention to the second part of The Earth Charter: Ecological Integrity which is about protection and restoration of the integrity of Earth’s ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.Monday.
So, apart from the recreational and festive activities whose objective was to establish and keep emotional liaisons among the participants, we included one main long event every day related to our leit motive: Ecological Integrity. We added value to these workshops and activities locating them in nearby cities and towns: Almería, Granada, Málaga, Bailén and Torres.
April 8th, 2019
Torres (Jaén). We went hiking in Sierra Mágina led by two expert in the ecology and exploitation of natural resources. Apart from raising awareness about the value of respect for the environment, we intended to know each other better, practice healthy physical exercise in nature and get to know the local natural resources.
Since the weather was wet, we had designed three contingency plans. In the end, we could implement plan B, which included a nice but short circular walk on the mountains and explanations about the economic sustainable exploitation of natural resources. We couldn’t do the open air workshop about sustainable agriculture which was substituted by short speeches by the nature experts who came with us.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2019
Almería. Participants had the opportunity of knowing about the latest development in superfood and fixing CO2. We visited the Power Station of Carboneras (Almería), by the Mediterranean Sea. It is a Coal Plant with to Generators (1,158.9 MW). The Station has had an importan role in the socioeconomic system of Almería, particularly in Carboneras.
In this visit the students knew about the sustainability aspects of its location, why it is necessary to get rid of the water steam of the two refrigeration towers and why chimneys are so high. From the top of a nearby hill the participants were explained about the different parts of the plant and the function of the coal park that stocks up to 2,000,000 tons of mineral.
A group of selected students and the teachers visited the control room, responsible for the electricity service of a large Andalusian area around the Central. The bias of the explanation was the ecological aspects of their activity.
After this activity, six leading engineers from the central took charge of the workshop Algae For Healthy World. This is a joint venture of six partners (public institutions and industrial firms) born because of the need of fixing part of the atmospheric CO2 the Power Plant was generating. The participants had the opportunity of manipulating and observing experiments with micro algae. On top of the ecological advantages of purifying the atmosphere, they constitute a super food. We studied their nutritional aspects as well as were able to try some delicious products made with them. We manipulated three of these specimens: Spirulina, Nannochloropsis Gaditana y Pyrocistis. Then we attended one experiment about bioluminescence. At the end of the workshop, the students did a test using their mobile phones and offered their conclusions in a farewell meeting.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
Granada. Visit Science Experimental Lab of the Zaidín, CSIC (Estación Experimental del Zaidín. CSIC). Participants made a guided tour around the facilities where researchers and project coordinators presented and explained several experiences about sustainability and environmental protection they are implementing in the lab. We were offered the opportunity of interacting in several of the experiments.
After that, we attended a workshop about sustainable agriculture with the following subtopics:
Harmful and beneficial plants.
Growing syrphids and following their vital cycle.
Classifying insects. Identifying pests.
After the hands on workshops, the students did a test using their mobile phones and offered their conclusions in the lab hall.
Thursday, April 11th, 2019
Bailén. Interactive Museum Terra Oleum about Olive Oil and sustainability. Some of the Spanish students led the rest of the participants through the different part of the interactive exhibition about Olive Oil and sustainability. In the hands on stands, they were able to learn about new technology of production, economy, science and culture related to olive oil, particularly the many aspects of sustainable development treated in the museum.
Then they did a testing and produced a bit of oil by themselves in the workshop about production and quality of olive oil .
Friday, April 12th, 2019
Málaga. Visit the facilities of the Smart City of Endesa in Málaga. Participants gained awareness about the main research lines of the Living Lab of the Smart City Málaga, oriented to the development of efficiency, energy saving and active handling of the demand from small or large clients. They learnt about the integration and storing of renewable energy, electrical mobility and new systems of charging electric vehicles.
Then, we made a guided tour to the beach to visit some modern wind turbines and the main control room.
At lunch we tasted some typical sardines (‘espetos’) and we were explained the traditional procedure of cooking them.