ForestSeeders – Restoring Sierra de Lujar

Semillistas’ mission is to look after the earth, the community, ensure that rural development is sustainable and undertake opensource biotechnical development.  In particular, stopping desertification and thereby climate change is a particula focus through the reforestation of land destroyed by fire and human action, at the same time as promoting a participative and resilient society.

This reforestation project is based in the Sierra Lujar of Órgiva, in Southern Spain, an area popular with walkers, bikers, climbers and cavers, and also important for birds, mountain goats and other wildlife. Soil erosion, following forest fires and loss of vegetation and fauna is a serious issue in this area. The project, by Semillistas, will restore 50 hectares of Mediterranean forest in Sierra Lujar, reducing flooding, soil run off and fires. Reforestation will be through innovative methods, by direct sowing of 300,000 improved seeds which have been primed, pelleted and mixed with mycorrhiza, which aims to enable the seeds to germinate after just one rainfall event rather than several. This technique is efficient, as the plants that grow are adapted to the environmental conditions, need less maintenance and it is more economical. It is hoped that 25,000 trees of 10 species will be successfully established from the seeds, which will be collected and sown by 200 volunteers over 20 days. The volunteers will also be involved in workshops and talks about conservation of the area. The project aims to restore the area from a dry area devoid of vegetation, to a habitat with native biodiversity, and of interest to the local population and visitors.

Image: Germination