Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and Social Forest: Together towards sustainability!

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This summer, Social Forest turned a landscaped area into a sustainable and educational forest. This work was done at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Circuit had already been a pioneer in environmental management in its field, attaining the ISO 14001-2015 certification with its 3C strategy: Awareness, Commitment and Coherence (Spanish: Conciencia, Compromiso y Coherencia). Promoted by FIM-Ride Green (International Motorcycle Federation – Ride Green), the project KISS Barcelona 2019 (Keep it Shiny and Sustainable) was created. For its very successful completion it received the FIM Environmental Award 2019.

The project’s goal for the Circuit was raising sustainability, biodiversity and environmental awareness on the premises for the event of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™. The project was financed through circular economy, using not returned reusable cups, a sustainable action carried out in the Circuit earlier.

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A combination of awareness campaigns, sustainability initiatives around the event and sustainable management of the forest and green zones were implemented in order to achieve those goals. Putting up posters concerning the problems of food waste, donating remaining food and using reusable cups instead of disposable ones helped to minimize waste. Working towards the prevention of CO2 emission, food offered on the Circuit was procured locally, an easy arrival with public transport was ensured and only renewable energy was used.

The sustainable management of the forest area was the task of Social Forest. The Circuit accounts for 25 hectares of green zones, 13 hectares of which are forest areas. What Social Forest did was a combination of pruning, felling, planting trees as well as the utilization of leftover materials from the pruning and felling.

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The pruning was an important step for several reasons. For instance, the removal of dead branches and wounds is indispensable for the trees’ health. In order to reduce the risk of forest fires, small low-level branches and scrub were removed to prevent fires to spread. As a safety matter, the risk of falling dead branches was prevented. Another benefit of the pruning is the aesthetic effect to make the forest a pleasant place for Circuit visitors.

Diseased and dead trees were felled and the remains were used for other purposes, as explained later. The regeneration and protection of the landscape will be managed in the future.

Social Forest planted a variety of indigenous species, such as the Celtis Australis and the Arbutus Unedo. The diversification of tree species is an important step to increase biodiversity. Indigenous trees and shrubs were selected that are resistant to pollution and attract native wildlife, especially birds and insects, to the area.

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Establishing a circular forest management, felled and pruned material was re-used within the forest area. Small debris was spread to improve the soil’s moisture retention capacity. In addition, irrigated areas were turned into hydrological self-managed areas. Chipped wood was also used to make mulching between the planted shrubs and at the base of the planted trees which assists drainage and inhibits the growth of weeds. Larger trunks were used to build shelter for wildlife that lives off dead wood. In the spirit of an educational forest experience, a group of students of a local school, Parets de Vallès, built insect hotels and nest boxes, using materials from the forest.

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Through this work on the forest areas of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Social Forest created a healthy forest with a higher biodiversity that is pleasing for both staff and visitors and sets a great example of the sustainable management of a former un-managed forest area. In june 2019 the new Circuit was successfully inaugurated by the racing driver Marc Márquez in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™.

 
 

Related SDG

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