Cross-border collaboration
for wildfire mitigation and water conservation

The Serra da Malcata and the Sierra de Gata form a cross-border region characterised by shared landscapes, potentials, and challenges. Both areas are rural, sparsely populated, and grapple with fragile economies. This region has been selected as a pilot due to its classification as an “ecoregion”, denoting a substantial land and/or water unit distinguished by unique climates, ecological attributes, and diverse plant and animal communities.

In both territories, a collective awareness of environmental risks prevails, impacting the daily lives of the local population. The environmental risks primarily stem from climate change, affecting both regions similarly, making them acutely cognizant of their environmental vulnerabilities.

In light of these shared challenges, this project advocates for the establishment of a cross-border space designed to address fire mitigation and encourage land-use transformations. This initiative aims not only to prevent wildfires but also to contribute to water conservation, explore alternative energy sources, and foster international cooperation.

Envisioning the construction of a collaborative institution, the project seeks to facilitate cooperation between the two regions and promote participatory initiatives. The core objective of this joint effort is to leverage existing practices on both sides of the border, share available knowledge from civil society organisations, researchers, and individuals, and create a platform for presenting proposals and initiatives dedicated to combating or mitigating fires and addressing water scarcity.

Pilot Details

  • Country: Spain and Portugal
  • Administrative level: Bioregion
  • Local Partner: CES
  • Topic: Healthy soil and protection/restoration of biodiversity (specific topic: reduction of wildfires)
  • Main Objectives: Transform the agro-forestry-pastoral landscape to contribute to the reduction of wildfires in a complex area with fragmented governance

Cover copyright: Fernando Romão (Wildlife Portugal)

Unpacking the Szeged’s Citizen Assembly