SUSTAIN Newsletter #1 Welcome!
We are glad to share our latest contents, discoveries and news, so you are part of our journey and learn together with us about how to make our landscapes more sustainable. Enjoy!
Three different European regions team up to target issues of sustainability in their landscapes
The Netherlands, Spain and Cyprus are partners in the Erasmus+ project “SUSTAIN” with the aim to organize a series of online learning modules on sustainable landscapes for secondary schools’ pupils. The goal? To raise awareness about the urgency to contribute to the local environment, in the three project regions. Each partner region will address one urgent local sustainability issue and will develop a teaching module around that issue. The ultimate goal is that the modules will be exchangeable between the three countries.
So, what’s the local urgency?
In the Netherlands it is all about the decline in populations of meadow birds and food chain sustainability; in Spain it is the issue of water management and the circular economy, taking the Albufera lake as a case study; in Cyprus the issue is large scale trapping and consumption of migrating birds and the way the landscape is altered by humans in order to accommodate this trapping.
Why does it matter?
Birds – but also animals in general - have been part of our everyday environment, our history and our culture for thousands of years adding colour and sound wherever we are. Changes in bird populations reflect changes in our environment often indicating that there is something wrong and that we need to take action. Loss of birds is a threat to other species, nature and ultimately to humankind. Every living organism, including birds, is part of a food chain so every piece of this chain is important in order to keep the ecosystem balance. A disturbance to the balance could have an effect on humans. Some bird species provide practical solutions to problems, such as controlling insect and rodent populations. Others disperse seeds, helping to revegetate habitats and allowing the survival of many species. Other bird species act as pollinators, ensuring the survival of many flowering plants, trees and shrubs. The term for the many ways birds (and other animals, plants and landscapes) support and improve human life is “ecosystem services”. A healthy and diverse ecosystem means a healthy world for us now and for generations to come.