From the Year of Biodiversity to the Year of Forests

31 December 2010

Logo of the International Year of BiodiversityThe year that has just ended was declared as the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations, with the aim of encouraging organizations, agencies, companies and individuals to put into action activities addressed to slow down the constant loss of biodiversity that is taking place in the whole planet.

Logo of the International Year of ForestsThe United Nations has declared 2011 the International Year of Forests. The purpose, in this case, is to focus on the sustainable management of forests, on their preservation and on sustainable development in all kinds of woods existing on our planet.

Biodiversity preservation and forest protection are strongly related. The first steps of Fragas do Mandeo, between the years 2010 and 2011, go in that direction. If we think globally and we want to act locally, we have to move forward in the land stewardship of local natural heritage, of native woods and rivers, of the coastline and the sea. This way, we’ll preserve habitats and biodiversity for present and future generations.

Happy New Year’s Eve

Fragas do Mandeo declared of public interest

24 November 2010

Logo of Official Gazette of GaliciaPublished today, November 24, in the Official Gazette of Galicia Resolución do 15 de novembro de 2010 pola que se declara de interese galego e se ordena a inscrición no Rexistro de Fundacións de Interese Galego da Fundación Fragas do Mandeo (Resolution of November 15, 2010 declaring the Fragas do Mandeo charity an entity of interest to Galicia and instructing its registration in the public Register of Charities of Interest to Galicia).

As already mentioned, this declaration as an entity of interest to Galicia, and consequently of public interest, may act as a stimulus for donations to Fragas do Mandeo, since private donors can claim tax deduction of up to 25% of their contribution, and up to 35% in the case of companies.

The publication of this resolution completes the incorporation process. Therefore, from now on we can focus on spreading the word about the entity’s objectives and on securing donations that allow us to acquire some land of environmental interest which we have already located around the area.

Round table on land stewardship

24 November 2010

On November 26, at 8:30pm, at the headquarters of Grupo Naturalista Hábitat (Camariñas Street 8, A Coruña)

Within the series of talks and conferences organized by Grupo Naturalista Hábitat under the title of Encontros naturalistas (Natural History meetings), Fragas do Mandeo was invited to take part in a round table debate about land stewardship.

We will be accompanied by Oscar Rivas, from Numenius Association, Martiño Cabana and Roberto Hermida, from Asociación Galega de Custodia do Territorio (AGCT).

Apart from allowing us to present our initiative, each participant will have the opportunity to offer his viewpoint on the current situation of land stewardship in Galicia. AGCT is going to comment on its projects and analyze the possibilities for stewardship offered by Bantegal. The debate will then be opened to the audience.

First appearance in the press

14 November 2010

Logo of the edition for A Coruña of the newspaper “La Opinión” An article about Fragas do Mandeo is published in the A Coruña edition of La Opinión, the result of a telephone interview last week.

Titled As Mariñas se une a la custodia del territorio (As Mariñas joins land stewardship), it deals with the raison d’etre of Fragas do Mandeo, explaining to the reader the nature of the organisation and what’s been accomplished so far.

This is the first time we’ve featured in the press, the reporter having found out about us in the Official Gazette of Galicia.

Fragas do Mandeo, of interest for the natural environment

8 November 2010

Logo of Official Gazette of GaliciaToday November 8th, the Diario Oficial de Galicia (Official Gazette of Galicia), has published Orde do 27 de outubro de 2010 pola que se clasifica de interese para a defensa do medio natural de Galicia a Fundación Fragas do Mandeo.

According to this dictate signed by the regional Minister of the Presidency of Galicia, “the conditions stated by current regulations related to foundations of interest for Galicia are fulfilled” and therefore, we proceed to “classify the Charity Fragas do Mandeo as an entity of interest for the natural environment of Galicia, and to place it under the supervision of the Consellería do Medio Rural (regional Ministry of the Rural Environment)”.

Besides the importance of official acknowledgment, this classification as an entity of interest for the natural environment of Galicia is one more step towards being recognized as an entity of interest for Galicia.

This status would provide an incentive for donating to Fragas do Mandeo, since in Spain there is a deduction in the income tax return of 25% of the amounts donated by private donors, and up to 35% for companies. For detailed information, please consult the link Ley 49/2002 de régimen fiscal de las entidades sin fines lucrativos y de los incentivos fiscales al mecenazgo or your tax accountant.

With this the proceedings for the incorporation of Fragas do Mandeo are in their final stage. Now the time has come to focus on spreading the word about Fragas do Mandeo and land stewardship as a way to preserve biodiversity in the As Mariñas area.

Website new version

6 October 2010

Now that the administrative side is all but completed, pending only publication of the announcement of the registration of Fragas do Mandeo as “an entity of Galician interest” in the Diario Oficial de Galicia (Official Gazette of Galicia), we are now focused on our website.

Image of Fragas do Mandeo website's version 2Today we’ve published the second version, three months after the first one. The major development is the availability of the site in several languages. When users access the site, they will find the Galician version, but will also be able to choose another language. All the contents are already translated into Spanish. Translations into English and German will be added as the volunteers in charge complete them.

New sections have also been added to the site. Section Habitats will be gathering all interesting information about the flora, fauna and geology of As Mariñas. In section Mission several pages were added explaining our work and the campaigns we are launching.

At the moment there are only a few photographs and pictures, but more will be added during the next few weeks.

The technical changes are considerable, having involved many hours of programming and content drafting. Thanks to the altruistic effort of volunteers, all these improvements have had no cost for Fragas do Mandeo.

It’d be great if you could help to improve the site further.

Dona, our mascot

5 October 2010

Dona was born on July 5, the day before the creation of our organization, near the River Mandeo, in Aranga, where her parents live. Today she is three months old.

Photograph of DonaShe was named Dona, which in Galician, apart from a respectful form of address, is a term for imaginary feminine beings. According to popular belief, the donas were beautiful and good women, blessed with magic powers, who lived in dolmens, crags, springs, Celtic settlements and ruins. In the Celtic language the word meant “brave leader of her people”. In Spanish, dona also means to donate and this is what we’d like our supporters to do to help towards preserving of our natural heritage.

Her mother is a German shepherd and her father is a Bernese mountain dog. Both parents are loyal and intelligent animals, as is typical of these breeds.

She has already visited the vet to be de-wormed, vaccinated and to have a microchip tag put in.

During the first few weeks she showed herself to be confident and bright, scouring the entire area where she lives. As is normal in puppies, everything catches her attention, and she never stops playing, chewing and breaking everything she picks up.

Despite her great activity, she is putting on two kilos per week. She learns quickly and she already knows to sit when asked. Now she is learning to go on a lead and to get accustomed to the hustle and bustle of the city.

Presentation at Lar de Unta

4 September 2010

Yesterday, September 3rd at 8:30 pm, we held a presentation about Fragas do Mandeo at the headquarters of Asociación Cultural Lar de Unta (Lar de Unta Cultural Association). A small group of other local associations that already knew about the new entity for land stewardship had also been invited. In view of the questions and the interest that had been sparked off among their members, it was necessary to explain our objectives.

Logo of Lar de Unta cultural associationLeo Antelo, president of the host association, introduced the board of trustees. After a few words about the necessity and convenience of having a local stewardship entity, we took questions from the audience, followed by an account of progress with our updated website.

We hope to present Fragas do Mandeo to a wider audience soon in an event that includes some activities, such as a photography and video show about nature in the Mandeo riverbanks.

Now we have a logo

10 August 2010

During the last two months we’ve been designing the logo of Fragas do Mandeo. Its creator is Carlos Silvar, vice-president of the board of trustees, who very skilfully used the many suggestions received.

We were looking for an image that combined the themes of woods and river. The first sketches were based on images of trees and flowing water but, being a very recurrent topic, the results were too similar to other entities’ logos.

Logo of Fragas do MandeoAfter considering more than twenty proposals, it was decided to opt for two symbols of life in riverbanks: a damselfly perched on the leaf of an alder. This tree is one of the most abundant along our rivers, thus forming the basis of an important habitat. Unfortunately, many alders are currently suffering from disease caused by a fungus.

Damselflies, together with dragonflies, make up the family Odonata. They are insects that live in the water during their larval stages, going unnoticed. When they metamorphose into adults, they blossom into beautiful flying insects found along riverbanks and streams. Damselflies differ from dragonflies in that they are smaller and they rest with their wings held vertically; dragonflies are bigger and spread their wings horizontally.

For the text we choose a font from more than a thousand available for free. Hence the logo hasn’t cost Fragas do Mandeo a penny.

Fragas do Mandeo is born

6 July 2010

Today the public deed of association of Fragas do Mandeo was signed, being recorded by Notary Public Mr. Luis Muíño. The new entity is a non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) with a charitable charter, for the accomplishment of countryside stewardship activities aimed at nature conservation in the area of As Mariñas in the province of A Coruna (Galice, Spain).

Picture of the board of trustees of Fragas do Mandeo signing the deed of association in the presence of Notary Public Mr. Luis Muíño

Thus, the procedures for the incorporation and public register as an entity of interest to Galicia through the Xunta de Galicia are initiated.

The initial resources are two pieces of land valued at 27,595 Euros and a cash total of 3,000 Euros.

If you wish to know more details, please download the document Estatutos de Fragas do Mandeo or consult section Mission, where you can find information about our objectives and the possibilities offered by land stewardship for nature conservation.

Picture of Carlos Silvar, Notary Public Mr. Luis Muíño, Fernando Bandín and Antón Vázquez after signing the deed of association of Fragas do Mandeo

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