The LIFE IP Azores Natura project is promoting free volunteer camps on several islands, with the aim of sensitising young people and the surrounding communities to the importance of practising concrete actions to conserve nature and biodiversity.
In this sense, the ‘Volunteer Escapes Camps’ initiative, integrated in the volunteer program implemented by the LIFE IP Azores Natura project, also includes activities with IPSS (Private Social Solidarity Institutions), ATL (Leisure Time Activities), local companies and the community in general, similar to what happened in the first camp at Graciosa Island.
The focus of the volunteer camp on this island was the control of invasive species, the collection of seeds and the construction of shelter boxes for tern chicks, being that there exist two species of tern in the Azores islands targeted by the project intervention, namely Sterna hirundo and Sterna dougallii.
These tasks are part of the specific actions C6.1 and C8.1 of the project, which were carried out by the young participants in areas such as “Barro Vermelho”, “Ponta da Restinga”, “Ponta Branca”, and “Ilhéu da Praia”.
The next planned camps, developed in collaboration with the European Solidarity Corps (CES), and within the scope of action E5, task 2 (Public Engagement and Volunteering Program) of the project, will take place in Flores, from 15 to 23 August, in Pico, from 12 to 20 September, in Santa Maria, from 7 to 15 November and in Terceira, from 13 to 21 February next year.
Each volunteer camp is accompanied by two coordinators from the association “Plantar Uma Árvore” (P1A), who has extensive experience in the design, implementation and operation of short and long-term volunteer programs.
P1A has, for the past few years, been involved in the implementation of the LIFE VOLUNTEER ESCAPES project, aimed at testing and demonstrating youth volunteering solutions, with the European Solidarity Corps and related to environmental protection and the conservation of nature and biodiversity.
The volunteer camps therefore allow, as has been shown by the success of the camp in Graciosa, the enthusiastic sharing of experiences and the development of synergies between young people, thereby sensitising them to the importance and the value of our natural heritage.
The implementation of the ‘Volunteer Escapes Camps’ initiative, adjusted to the current restrictions with respect to the duration, maximum number of participants, and location of each of the actions, is executed by P1A in partnership with AZORINA, SA. and the Regional Directorate for the Environment, the last two entities being associated beneficiary and coordinator, respectively, of our project.