The grants, which may amount to up to 4 million euros per project, have a total budget of 58 million euros. A second call for proposals is expected to be published in the coming months with a total of 62 million euros, bringing the total to 120 million euros.
A total of 99 projects have been submitted to the call for grants from the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) dedicated to promoting the naturalisation of urban environments and framed within Component 4 (conservation and restoration of ecosystems and their biodiversity) of the Spanish Government’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR).
The objective of this call is to strengthen the role of nature in urban environments to increase their biodiversity and improve the quality of life and health of people. To this end, these grants aim to contribute to the development of green infrastructures and the promotion of the connectivity of green and blue spaces, through direct interventions.
All the autonomous communities, in addition to Melilla, are represented in the projects received, which are now entering a process of administrative and technical evaluation. This process will be carried out taking into account strict quality criteria for the initiatives presented.
The projects must be framed within long-term municipal strategies, promote transformative actions that are sustainable over time and aligned with the objectives of the call itself. It is expected that during the month of June 2022 the resolution will be issued and the projects can begin, which can be developed until 31 December 2025.
This line of aid has a total budget of 58 million euros (between 2 and 4 million per project). The beneficiaries may be provincial capitals and municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, which may be grouped together with other entities and neighbouring municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants.
More than 346 million euros requested
Catalonia, Andalusia, Madrid, Valencia and Castile and Leon are the regions that have submitted the most initiatives to this call. Given the volume of proposals received, with a total of 346 million euros requested, it is estimated that only 20% of the proposals will be selected.
In order to continue supporting these initiatives, a call for proposals for the renaturation of urban river sections to reduce the risk of flooding is still open, with a budget of 75 million euros, aimed at all Spanish local authorities. A second call for the renaturation of cities is also expected to be published in the coming months for 62 million euros. In addition, the Biodiversity Foundation is working to maintain these lines of aid in the coming years.
Support for innovative projects aligned with the objectives
In accordance with what is reflected in the call and with the availability of budget, only projects that are correctly designed and technically and economically sized, that are integrated and respond to public policies, plans or strategies and with a high impact, with a demonstrative effect, scalable and with lasting results over time will be selected.
Furthermore, they must be initiatives that clearly promote nature-based solutions, aimed at increasing the presence of natural elements in cities, from an ecosystemic approach, that integrate biodiversity as the backbone of the interventions, favouring and improving the diversity of habitats in cities, and that consider social cohesion in a transversal way through the participation of citizens and social agents.