Creating local “AMBERssadors” in Spain
River Restoration Workshop, Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) Europe 2018
October 24, 2018
“It’s not on the map!”
October 24, 2018

Creating local “AMBERssadors” in Spain

“In Spain, there is a problem. We want to create awareness about the impacts of barriers in rivers but some participants do not know what a weir is. The most common question we get is: What is a weir? And how is it different from a dam? Both look exactly the same!” In Spain, the Asociacion para el Estudio y Mejora de los Salmonidos—Rios con Vida (AEMS) team has heard this several times since the beginning of the AMBER project. They have realized that they still need to incorporate more education about barriers—the types of barriers and their effects.

To achieve this, the AEMS Rios con Vida is pursuing collaboration with visitor centers as well as local organizations in Spain to help educate visitors and locals. These organizations showed interest in exchanging knowledge to broaden and improve their educational activities in relation to rivers and reservoirs. In Madrid, the association has already organized several training and awareness activities in collaboration with the "Centro de educación ambiental El Águila"— a visitor center in the west of Madrid. These training sessions help to increase staff knowledge of local rivers, their flora, fauna etc.; provide associated educational materials and an introduction to the AMBER Barrier Tracker App.

The two training sessions are during October and November. One session involves hiking to the Aceña river to visit some barriers and the other is a volunteering/ecological analysis open day at Guadarrama River. The staff at these centers will then develop environmental activities for the public during which they spread awareness about barriers and the AMBER project and app.

In the long term, this collaboration benefits the local public by the training the teams and groups of environmental enthusiasts who will spread the AMBER message.

Staff at "Centro de educación ambiental El Águila"
Other photo sources: Official Site of Comunidad de Madrid.

Written by
Sara Garrido