How does reforestation contribute to biodiversity?
First of all, reforestation is the planting of new trees, plants, and bushes. On the Spanish farm, for example, reforestation means putting conifers, almond trees, eucalyptus and many other plants in the ground between the citrus fruits. This method creates a mixed cultivation of different plants, whose different flowering times not only create a new and varied habitat all year round, they also distract the bees from the cultivated citrus fruits.
This is important because citrus plants are capable of self-fertilisation, so cross-pollination and the potential crossing of plants should be avoided. Consequently, the mixed cultivation reduces the application of pesticides by naturally distracting the bees – a true win-win situation for the bees and the trees.
Why are pesticides so harmful?
Pesticides are poisons which are still used quite frequently in today’s agriculture, and which damage many different plant and animal species. The negative effects on bees include the weakening of their sense of orientation, immune system and memory. They can even lead to the complete extinction of animals and the corresponding loss of biodiversity.
According to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, up to 150 different plant and animal species disappear from the earth every day. Agriculture contributes to nearly 80 % of these biodiversity losses with deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems.
Agrícola Valenciana wants to bring about a change in agriculture. Through their particular reforestation method and the resulting significant reduction of pesticides, they create new sustainable habitats for animal species and continuously increase biodiversity on the plantation.
How does reforestation contribute to the climate?
Agrícola Valenciana’s commitment does not only promote biodiversity, it also protects the climate. Trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and convert it into carbon (C) and oxygen (O2) through photosynthesis. The trees use the carbon (C) for their own growth and release the oxygen back into the air. That way, climate-damaging CO2 becomes essential air to breathe.
The diverse fauna also benefits from the wild plantations. On the one hand, the animals find food in the form of the various plants such as nut trees or fig trees. On the other hand, they ensure a balanced biodiversity of the fauna through their natural enemies. Giant lizards or eagles, for example, are very welcome on the plantation as they eat mice, snakes and wild rabbits that would otherwise cause great damage to the fruit crop.
Agrícola Valenciana is therefore not only leaving a greener footprint but is also setting a good example in promoting agriculture with natural methods and creating new habitats – for the animals and the climate!
Agrícola Valenciana’s efforts support the following SDGs: