Baldomar, Spain: Burned Oak Trees after the Fire, Chair of Being Alive, 2022

Prof. Teresa Galí-Izard | Chair of Being Alive

Garden of the XXI Century in Baldomar, Spain

On June 15, 2022, a fire burned 2,683 hectares of forest and agricultural land around the villages of La Clua de Maià and Alos de Balaguer in the in the municipality of Baldomà, a region of La Noguera north of Catalunya, Spain. Concerned about the intensity of the fire and the transformation of the landscape, residents have joined forces to recover the affected area. Its main objective is to carry out improvement and regeneration actions while generating knowledge. Locals from the surrounding area have the need of reconnecting with the land in a different manner, more consciously. Old people and former hunters are concerned about the fauna – the most vulnerable inhabitants of the area – that have lost their milieux, others about the loss of biodiversity, and shepherds about the lack of prairies for their herds. Despite being aware of the capacity of independent recovery of the mediterranean forest, which is very viable in between 4 months after the fire, people of the territory want to get involved in the restoration. They want to know better the species that have survived, the first to appear after the disturbance, and the potential ones that can be planted to increase the resilience of the plant community. They want to intervene with the objective of improving the conditions of the place, and mainly act in the poorest areas, protecting the exposed soil from the sun, so that the regeneration is successful. In this way they want to restore a new relationship with the environment, respectful, intelligent and with reciprocal benefits over time.