What comes to mind when you hear the word nature?
I think of luscious greenery, fresh air, towering forests, rivers, mountains, wild flowers and wildlife.
There are so many beautiful images and sensations related to that single word. It hurts my soul to think that our great grandchildren may have a whole different experience and feeling towards what nature is.
When starting up Open the Door events four years ago, there was nothing that mattered more to me than founding a business that synchronised with my beliefs and values. Designing minimal waste sustainable events was essential, as well as working with ethical businesses and supporting the local community. To celebrate our four year anniversary, I’m excited to announce that we will be giving back to something incredible that is happening right here in Spain.
Last week, we spent some time in Camp Altiplano, situated in Murcia in southern Spain. Murcia was Spain’s leading fruit and vegetable exporter and supplied produce for Spain and beyond, but it is now one of the areas with the highest risks of desertification in Europe. Local farmers are struggling to support themselves due to drought and the infertility of the soil caused by years of industrial farming and the land will be abandoned if action isn’t taken fast.
Camp Altiplano was setup in April 2017 to rehabilitate degraded lands and turn them into thriving ecosystems. The project is run by the donations of the members of Ecosystem Restoration Camps and the volunteers dedication of their valuable skills, such as; permaculture, botany, landscaping, construction, carpentry and horticulture. Over the past year and a half, the volunteers have planted; trees, an apple orchard, a vegetable garden and shrubs, decompacted soil, installed natural water irrigation systems by digging ponds and swales, monitored plant and animal species, set up a solar panels and a weather-station, built sustainable facilities such as compost toilets, yurts, a straw-bale and cob roundhouse and have been involved in many other impressive physical labour tasks.
The purpose is to turn the camp into a learning centre to educate people on how ecosystems function, how and why they are degraded and how these ecosystem can be rehabilitated. These skills will then be shared to help and support farmers in the local area who have degraded land that they wish to rehabilitate.
If this camp is a success, which I have no doubt about, the plan is to establish several camps in countries around the world, where there is a severe necessity for land restoration.
How we are getting involved
We are collaborating with Eco Restoration Camps and will donate €50 every time a couple hire Open the Door Events to plan their wedding. Not only does this support the restoration project economically, but it also raises consciousness about what is going on on our planet and how much power we have to change it when our intentions are in the same place.
Interested in becoming a member? Here’s how to get involved and become part of the movement.
Green Gold - This must watch documentary was recommended to me by my little eco warrior sister who told me if she ever left Australia she would join John D Liu in saving the world.
Hope in a Changing Climate - Another documentary by John D Liu, which explains eco restoration in detail and shows the amazing results
Permaculture explained in a TED talk
If somebody asked me last year what eco restoration was, I wouldn’t have had a clue. I wasn’t aware, that life could be brought back to an arid desert, nature never fails to amaze. Even if you can’t become a member, spread the word and become an active ambassador for our Earth.
A huge thank you to Joy Zamora for the beautiful images and collaboration on this project.