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CREAF and Barraquer are committed to Mediterranean forests and young talent with a research support scholarship

Gerard Codina, CREAF predoctoral researcher, and Professor Dr. Barraquer.
Gerard Codina, CREAF predoctoral researcher, and Professor Dr. Barraquer.

CREAF pre-doctoral researcher Gerard Codina has received the ‘Impulsa Barraquer Grant’ awarded by the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre, which will co-finance part of his doctoral thesis and promote his research on the resilience of Mediterranean forests. This is the first grant for forestry research as part of the first call for grants from the Forests of the Future Fund, recently launched by CREAF. The evaluation committee is made up of the CREAF Fundraising Commission and the Barraquer team. The award ceremony was attended by Professor Barraquer and CREAF director Joan Pino, as well as other employees from the two centres who wanted to share in the celebration. 

Observation of a high degree of drought in Osona. Source: anonymous user of AlertaForestal.
Observation of a high degree of drought in Osona. Source: anonymous user of AlertaForestal.

Gerard explains that his thesis, tentatively titled “Resilience of woody communities in the face of disturbances associated with climate change and climatic niche of species,” aims to provide new tools to assess the sensitivity and resilience of different forest communities to a combination of fire and drought episodes. Taking into account the climatic characteristics of their species, this research aims to determine the inflection point in the recovery capacity of forests, anticipating potential collapses and assisting in the conservation of these ecosystems. He emphasizes that the predictive capacity of how forests will respond to disturbances provided by this research is expected to be of special relevance to various stakeholders already working in the field, helping to anticipate the impacts of climate change on forests and implement appropriate strategies for conservation.

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"Receiving this research grant at this early stage of the thesis is truly motivating, as it shows that the work we are doing is valued and generates interest. This helps me approach this project with much more enthusiasm and excitement"

Gerard Codina, predoctoral researcher at CREAF

The expected and potential final results of this research include promoting a holistic health of people, forests, and the planet (One Health concept) as a social impact of the scientific research itself. These results will also contribute to achieving various sustainability goals established in different current plans, such as the Spanish Forest Strategy Horizon 2050 or the New EU Forest Strategy for 2030.

Let's have a vision for the forests of the future

The Barraquer Ophthalmology Center, a leading medical institution in preventing, diagnosing, and treating eye diseases, extends its activities nationally and internationally through three additional areas: education, research, and social work.

Barraquer and CREAF team during the awarding of the research grant.
Barraquer and CREAF team during the awarding of the research grant.

Their commitment to promoting a healthy and resilient environment led them to launch the #TinguemVista initiative last year, their own environmental sponsorship project. Within their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), they emphasize concern for the natural environment, present and future, with a particular focus on forests. Through this campaign, in 2023, they have made a clear commitment to intelligent forest management based on the excellent science of CREAF, formalized collaboration in 2022, to jointly contribute to improving the situation of Mediterranean forests.

This collaboration aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aims to offer new opportunities to promote impactful scientific excellence while assisting committed entities like Barraquer in creating a positive impact by aligning and contributing to climate action (SDG 13) and terrestrial ecosystems’ life (SDG 15). Through such public-private partnerships (SDG 17), efforts are combined to address global social, economic, and environmental challenges through excellent scientific evidence and an informed and engaged citizenry in decision-making. The support associated with collaboration, like others through corporate collaboration agreements with CREAF projects, is channeled through their affiliated foundation, the Terra Foundation.

Opportunities for scientific patronage to protect the Mediterranean forest

Scientific sponsorship opportunities to protect the Mediterranean forest were launched at the beginning of 2023 with the establishment of the new Woods of the Future Fund at CREAF. The fund aims to promote and support research in applied forest ecology, seeking solutions to help forests adapt to global change through corporate and social scientific sponsorship. With the support of entities and individuals committed to the sustainability of excellent science and nature, a young predoctoral researcher can continue advancing in their research, or a senior research talent can consolidate, contributing to providing answers and solutions to adapt our Mediterranean forests to the major challenges of global change.

The goal of this new institutional fund for philanthropic scholarships at CREAF is to address the common challenges of Iberian Peninsula forests, with a special focus on the Mediterranean, while improving cooperation and governance for better sustainable development of the involved territories. This determined commitment aims to favor adaptive forest management and sustainable, intelligent, and integrated development through transformative scientific excellence, promoting a social impact in increasing the resilience of the regions.

We offer society the opportunity to become ambassadors of science in ecology, contributing to improving ecosystem health. How? By raising awareness of the challenges faced by Mediterranean forests and ensuring healthy natural ecosystems, as well as our role as a responsible and committed society in monitoring and obtaining scientific data to find solutions for better environmental health.

We offer society the opportunity to become ambassadors of science in ecology, contributing to improving ecosystem health. How? By raising awareness of the challenges faced by Mediterranean forests and ensuring healthy natural ecosystems, as well as our role as a responsible and committed society in monitoring and obtaining scientific data to find solutions for better environmental health.

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