ACCIONA and the natural Heritage Foundation to develop environmental management and protection systems in Castille and Leon


ACCIONA and the Foundation sign a seven-year, five million euro Cooperation Agreement to carry out joint actions.

ACCIONA and the Foundation sign a seven-year, five million euro Cooperation Agreement to carry out joint actions.

M Jesus Ruiz and JM EntrecanalesThe First Vice-President of the Government of the Autonomous Region of Castille and León and Chairperson of the Fundación Patrimonio Natural(Natural Heritage Foundation), Ms. María Jesús Ruiz, and the Chairman and CEO of ACCIONA, José Manuel Entrecanales, today signed a Cooperation Agreement for the development of environmental management and protection programmes.

The Agreement, signed at the Environmental Resources Centre (the headquarters of the Natural Heritage Foundation), will run for seven years, until 2015. ACCIONA will provide five million euros for the design and execution of environmental conservation and management projects. In addition, ACCIONA will help to boost sustainable economic growth in the Autonomous Region through its renewables energies programme. Currently, ACCIONA has ongoing projects in the Region for a number wind farms totalling 500 MW, between 2009 and 2015. As a result of the Cooperation Agreement, ACCIONA becomes a Protector-Partner of the Natural Heritage Foundation.

The Agreement envisages the following areas of joint-action:

  • Nurture respect and awareness in society at large for environmental conservation and improvement.
  • Improve the conservation of the Region's Natural Heritage, which includes not only natural habitats but also species of flora and fauna.
  • Restore deteriorated areas.
  • Improve facilities for use by the public.
  • Undertake activities geared towards producing socioeconomic, cultural and educational dynamism in relation to the Natural Heritage, and in particular with regard to Castille and León's natural spaces.
  • Produce technical and information resources and materials.

The Foundation will take on the management and execution of the actions that fall within the scope of the Agreement, and it will set up a Follow-Up Committee that will be responsible for establishing a calendar of actions and following them up.

The Natural Heritage Foundation and ACCIONA both agree that it is of vital importance for society to show respect for and awareness of the need not only for environmental conservation and improvement but also for the social integration of the underprivileged members of society. Accordingly, one of the specific actions envisaged by the Agreement is an annual public information campaign aimed at achieving these goals.

According to María Jesús Ruiz, "this Agreement will benefit the society of Castille and León as a whole, and in particular the people who live in the region's natural spaces". The Chairman and CEO of ACCIONA, for his part, underlines that "companies have to act in favour of balanced economic development, capable of generating wealth and long-term well-being -and that means we have to make every effort to take care of the natural environment".

For ACCIONA, this Agreement falls within the company's overall vocation to foster sustainable development, and its ongoing efforts to aid economic advancement, social well-being and protection of the environment. This vision as a company, which ACCIONA applies in all its activities, is evidenced in a commitment to the territory and the communities in which those activities are carried out.

This commitment to society also implies a relationship with official bodies and organizations that make up the backbone of society. In Castille and León there are a number of examples of just how beneficial this kind of cooperation can be.

It should not be forgotten that Castille and León is home to one of Europe's richest, most diverse and best-preserved natural spaces, and that conservation of this natural treasure requires considerable funding.

Furthermore, this model of cooperation, as exemplified by and consolidated in this Agreement, is an exceptional example in the European Union which, in its conservation policy, calls for continued efforts in developing models of cooperation between the public and private sectors.

About the Castille and León Natural Heritage Foundation

Castille and León is one of the EU's largest regions. In addition, its location and varied landscape have given rise to a wide variety of ecosystems, scenery and natural formations, making Castille and Leon one of the most valuable regions in Europe in terms of biodiversity and sheer wealth of natural heritage.

Nature's considerable appeal for society today, coupled with the growing demand for leisure activities, indicate the great potential for the services sector in the rural community. This opportunity for rural development has to take into account the need for the conservation of the natural heritage and should never lose sight of the need to plan and manage activities from the point of view of sustainability.

Based on these basic premises, the Natural Heritage Foundation was set up in 2005 with the following goals:

  • Showcase the region's natural resources in a way that is compatible and sustainable with the conservation and evolution of the natural surroundings.
  • Create the structures needed for developing public-use and socio-economic activities that are compatible with the conservation of the Red de Espacios Naturales (Network of Natural Spaces).
  • Enable the dissemination of information and the widespread enjoyment of Castille and León's Network of Natural Spaces (NNS), with particular attention to the region's historical-cultural values and its rural and traditional activities.
  • Provide the inhabitants of spaces within the NNS with access to the Information Society, through the rational application of ICTs.
  • Enable social participation in the sustainable development of protected Natural Spaces.
  • Improve the quality of life of the people who live in the spaces by developing infrastructures and the necessary local services.
  • Create jobs and put a limit on the population level of the socioeconomic zone of influence of the NNS spaces.

A total fifteen companies are currently Protector-Partners of the Foundation whose efforts are united in helping to achieve the Foundation's goals.

In 2009, the Foundation will manage a total forty public facilities located within the natural spaces, comprising 25 Casas del Parque (Visitor Information Centres), six themed centres, 3 wildlife assistance centres, three wildlife reception centres and three river-life classroom-workshops, all of which provide direct jobs for over 120 workers mainly from rural areas. A large proportion of these workers are young people and women who work for the small local companies that are under contract to manage the facilities.

The Casas del Parque received over half a million visitors in 2008.

In addition, the Foundation runs the Centro de Información y Documentación Ambiental de Castilla y León (Castille and León Environmental Information and Documentation Centre), or CIDA, which in 2009 will have a network of documentation centres in each of the Autonomous Region's natural spaces. This network, which will be the largest of its kind in Spain, will provide the public with specialised documentation on each of the natural spaces, as well as access to a specific participatory internet portal and other services related to the implementation of the Information Society in the rural environment.

Along with this investment in facilities, other investment efforts are directed at the restoration of the environment and natural heritage, such as improvement work on Atapuerca area, work on ethnographic elements at Monte Obarenes, Monte Montaña and Monte Palentina, and ongoing accessibility work for the disabled at a number of natural spaces.


ACCIONA is one of Spain´s leading corporations, with operations in infrastructure, energy, water and services in more than thirty countries. Its slogan "Pioneers in Sustainable Development" reflects its commitment to achieve sustainable development in all of its business areas, contributing to economic growth, social progress and protection of the environment. ACCIONAis sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and posted €12.665 billion in revenues in 2008.

The ACCIONA business vision includes a commitment with the communities where the company carries out its activities. The company has a strong presence in Castille and León in all of its business lines.

ACCIONA Infrastructure, whose activity covers the entire spectrum of construction activities, from engineering to the execution of works, and subsequent maintenance, has a number of important projects in Castille and León, including several stretches of the Autovía del Noroeste, A-62, A-66 and A-67 highways; the recovery of the Canal de Castilla; León Airport; the recently opened Río Hortera Hospital; or restoration work on Salamanca's Plaza Mayor (Main Square) or the Property Registrar's Main Offices in Valladolid.

ACCIONA Energy, the world leader in renewable energies in terms of installed capacity and for its range of technologies, has 17 wind farms in Castille and León, with a total installed capacity of 418 MW. The company has a cogeneration plant, along with an associate biomass plant, in Soria and is currently building a 16 MW biomass plant in Briviesca (Burgos province).

ACCIONA Agua, the end-to-end water services arm of ACCIONA, has around 30 water- and wastewater treatment plants in Castille and León and currently manages the water supply for municipalities such as Soria, Arévalo (Ávila), Toro and Corrales (both in Zamora province). The company runs wastewater treatment plants in Guardo (Palencia), Espinosa (Burgos), Cañón de Río Lobos (Soria) and León.

ACCIONA is also present in the wine industry through its subsidiary Hijos de Antonio Barceló SA, owners of the Viña Mayor, Peñascal, Caserío de Dueñas and Finca Anzil wineries, as well as having a number of services companies.

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