In the Pyrenees as well as other European mountains, studies have indicated that landslides and subsequent flooding have decreased in places where forest has conquered past grasslands, especially in the highest part of pastures. In some cases, reforestation has demonstrated its usefulness to cope with hydro-climatic extreme events by reducing the hazard intensity.
However, this positive impact is very local and more importantly it does not include the broader implications of socio-economic impact of land abandonment and downsizing of pastures. Demonstration and monitoring of reforestation in relevant environments is needed to understand the implications of tree species, drainage systems, and agro-pastoral practices.
The Consortium Pyrenees Working Community (CTP) is reaching out to local communities in these vulnerable natural areas to engage them in meaningful dialogue to co-design strategies, funding schemes, monitoring systems, services and policies related to various NBSs. Proposed demonstrations will be realized in collaboration with planned work of municipalities and project proposals that receive funding from the Operational Program for Territorial Cooperation Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA) program for 2014-2020. This program focuses on “Promoting the protection, development and sustainable use of local resources” and “Promoting adaptation to climate change and risk prevention and management.” One of the goals is to propose land use changes as a tool for stabilizing the entire river basin and valleys, with the support of local communities.
Photos from Bareges in the Pyrenees after the flood in June 2013