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Reforestation & Climate Change Mitigation: tests, evaluation and transfer of innovative methods based on fog collection

Reference: LIFE19 CCM/ES/001199 | Acronym: LIFE NIEBLAS



Climate change is causing lower rainfall and increasing desertification in numerous areas of southern Europe and the outermost regions of the EU. Forest fires affect hydrological balances, not only through the loss of green cover but also because of the reduction of infiltration and the increase of superficial runoff. Besides the alteration of the ecological value of forest, the elimination of its protective function must be highlighted, which results in the acceleration of erosive processes. Additionally, rainfall cycles or episodes tend to be shorter in time but with higher intensity, which results in a significant increase in runoff and soil erosion processes. In recent times, Gran Canaria (Spain) and Portugal have been impacted by large wild fires, which have affected not only the natural environment, but also agricultural areas, livestock farms, houses and infrastructures.


The objective of the LIFE NIEBLAS project is to test innovative fog collectors and innovative types of reforestation that, based on fog water collection, do not significantly increase the carbon footprint compared to the traditional types, taking into account their effectiveness, and their overall costs and benefits. The project team will implement restoration measures to reduce erosion, and these activities will contribute to the environmental recovery of areas in Gran Canaria (Spain) and Portugal, and help build resilience to climate change.

The project has the following specific objectives:

  • Demonstrate and disseminate the effectiveness, efficiency and capacity of the innovative fog collectors and different reforestation approaches, and the equipment linked to them, to facilitate their replication and transfer;
  • Improve the resilience to climate change of a degraded area within the Natura 2000 site La Virgen ravine (SAC) on the island of Gran Canaria, characterised by endemic heath habitat, by means of reforestation that does not significantly increase the carbon footprint, to improve environment quality and water infiltration to the subsoil, control runoff, reduce evapotranspiration, and reverse or slow down desertification. Other Natura 2000 sites in Portugal will be selected for restoration, based on the results of this action;
  • Create synergies between the project and other sectors and policies (e.g. agrarian, and energy and water management) in the Canary Islands (Spain), Portugal, and elsewhere in the EU; and
  • Raise awareness of the relevance of forest cover with regard to water resources, showing the environmental importance of its conservation, recovery, maintenance and extension for resilience to climate change.

    The project contributes to the implementation and development of EU policy and legislation on climate change mitigation, and also the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change by increasing resilience of vulnerable areas on islands and outermost regions of the EU. The project also helps implement the Habitats Directive through actions that improve conditions for the priority habitats Endemic Macaronesian heaths (4050*) and Macaronesian laurel forests (9360*), and the endemic plant species Sambucus palmensis, Isoplexis chalcantha and Sideritis discolor.


    Expected results:

  • Implementation of three innovative reforestation models based on fog collection and reforestation of laurel forests in Gran Canaria, and forests with oak trees (Quercus pirenaica), willow (Salix neotricha) and plane trees (Acer pseudoplatanus) in Portugal;
  • Creation of an Open Web Tool to asses and compare reforestation projects (according to efficacy, efficiency and externalities);
  • Celebration of the International Day on Climate Change, Reforestations and Fog Collection in Gran Canaria, with at least 10 projects/research presented and 10 entities showing products and services;
  • Technical manual on reforestation based on fog collection (in English, Spanish and Portuguese) - 500 paper copies and digital format;
  • Reforestation types and/or fog collection technique replicated in at least 15 third-party plots;
  • Capture of at least 300 000 litres of water by the innovative fog collectors;
  • Planting of 24 300 seedlings (at least 40% survival);
  • Meetings in Gran Canaria, Madrid, Viseu Do Lafes Region and Brussels to create synergies between project results and EU policies; and
  • Awareness and consciousness raising through at least 120 activities with a minimum of 2 000 participants.

    Reference: LIFE19 CCM/ES/001199
    Acronym: LIFE NIEBLAS
    Start Date: 01/07/2020
    End Date: 31/12/2024
    Total Eligible Budget: 2,128,997 €
    EU Contribution: 1,170,948 €


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Gestin y Planeamiento Territorial y Medioambiental, S.A. (GESPLAN)
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: C/Len y Castillo, 54, bajo, 35003, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,
    Contact Person: Gustavo VIERA RUIZ
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

    LIFE Project Map



    • Carbon sequestration
    • Water scarcity and drought
    • Sensitive and protected areas management
    • Natural resources and ecosystems


    • island
    • soil erosion
    • desertification
    • reforestation
    • water shortage
    • climate change mitigation
    • climate resilience
    • drought


    • COM(2013)216 - EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)
    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)


    Name Type
    CIM VDL(Comuniade Intermunicipal Viseu Dão Lafões), Portugal Participant
    CGC(Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria), Spain Participant
    CREAF(Centro de Investigación Ecológica y Aplicaciones Forestales), Spain Participant
    ICIA (Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias (Canarian Crop Research Institute), Spain Participant
    ULL(Universidad de La Laguna), Spain Participant
    Heredad(Heredad de Aguas de Arucas y Firgas), Spain Participant
    ITC(Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, S.A.), Spain Participant
    Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona Participant