Our aim is the study, development and demonstration of a long-term sustainable management of a semiarid landscape, using traditional and low impact techniques intended to regenerate the vegetable coverage in the context of the “Paraje Natural Karst en Yesos de Sorbas”.
Through the observation of natural ecosystems, the department has the aim of understanding the natural process of evolution of plant communities, as well as the degradation and development of the soil to formulate management proposals. We try to incorporate academic research in a practical action strategy that is meant to be affordable for any person or collective.
The job of the department is very diverse and challenging. Historically, the project focused in the beginning on the study and use of both Mediterranean and exotic plants that were adapted to semiarid climates. Nowadays, it is focused on the conservation and regeneration of local vegetation through techniques that are both sustainable and respectful to the local environment. We use techniques that promote the growth of local vegetation already adapted to this semiarid landscape and that allow the rise and stability of local biodiversity in the long term.
The department has a library, a seed bank and several work spaces. Part of our job is done in the “Arboretum”, a botanical nursery used both to observe the plants and do experiments on vegetable cover regeneration. At the same time it is a space to inform residents and visitors about the job we do in the department.
The use of resources is another important aspect for the department. The care and exploitation of trees as olives and almonds is just one part of our job. An invaluable resource that is becoming more scarce and threatened is water. So the use and catchment of this resource is of vital importance.
The department has the responsibility of maintaining the waste water system, an integrated system composed of hydroponics, vertical and horizontal gravel beds that filter and depurate our waste water and makes it available for irrigation. At the same time, our department is working on the development of innovative techniques that allow the catchment of rain water.
Click here to read possible projects for a placement in the the Drylands Management department. If you would like to ensure your involvement in the department’s work, or if you have a great idea and you can’t find it in the projects’ page, please get in touch with the Drylands Management coordinator before coming to Sunseed.