Talk about the role that Artikutza could play in the sustainable future of San Sebastián.

There was a time when many activities were carried out in Artikutza, such as grazing, mining and charcoal making, as in any other valley. However, a century ago, the San Sebastián city council bought Artikutza to guarantee the supply of quality water. Since then, it has followed a very conservative management plan, since wanting to guarantee quality water has led to the protection of the forests. As a consequence, the natural value of Artikutza has risen while everything around it has been spoiled. Today, thanks to the management of this conservationist century, Artikutza guarantees water of the best quality in the Añarbe reservoir and, in addition to that, it is the oldest and most diverse forest in the area.

The years to come will bring great sustainability challenges. To respond to these challenges we must radically change our way of life, rethink our cities, care for and improve our natural environments. This will reinforce the role that Artikutza has in the sustainability of San Sebastián. Water is important today, and it will continue to be in the future, the more predictable the climate the more important the water will be. In addition, Artikutza will continue to fulfill functions of great importance such as protecting biodiversity, sheltering forests and natural rivers and being a depository for cultural heritage and carbon.

Artikutza, therefore, fulfills the function of a natural laboratory where, taking into account the low social activity that takes place there, we can see the effects that global warming has on the flow of rivers, the temperature or water quality. Similarly, Artikutza offers great opportunities to monitor the dynamics of endangered species such as water moles to learn more about how to maintain their populations. In addition to this, Artikutza offers an amazing opportunity, the opportunity to see and enjoy a quite natural ecosystem.

Looking to the future, there are undoubtedly great challenges to come. Among them, climate change is noteworthy, as it can endanger some native species, but the greatest danger would be that society forgot the value of natural spaces, that it would not realize that a quality life requires a quality environment.

Arturo Elosegi Irurtia

Biologian Doktore eta Ekologia Katedraduna (UPV/EHU)

Doctor in Biology, Professor of Ecology at the UPV/EHU Professor and researcher at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of the Basque Country. He investigates the ecology of rivers, paying special attention to the effects of human activities on the structure, biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems. Thus, he has analyzed the influence of forestry activity, pollution, the construction of reservoirs or hydroelectric plants, both in the Basque Country and in other parts of the world, thanks to research projects at all levels, local to international. He has written fifteen books, more than 40 chapters, and more than a hundred research articles. He has judged articles for 90 scientific journals and has judged research projects for a dozen countries. He collaborates with environmental managers in the definition of valuation methods for natural ecosystems, in the analysis of management plans or in the design and monitoring of restoration projects.

Talk about the role that Artikutza could play in the sustainable future of San Sebastián.

There was a time when many activities were carried out in Artikutza, such as grazing, mining and charcoal making, as in any other valley. However, a century ago, the San Sebastián city council bought Artikutza to guarantee the supply of quality water. Since then, it has followed a very conservative management plan, since wanting to guarantee quality water has led to the protection of the forests. As a consequence, the natural value of Artikutza has risen while everything around it has been spoiled. Today, thanks to the management of this conservationist century, Artikutza guarantees water of the best quality in the Añarbe reservoir and, in addition to that, it is the oldest and most diverse forest in the area.

The years to come will bring great sustainability challenges. To respond to these challenges we must radically change our way of life, rethink our cities, care for and improve our natural environments. This will reinforce the role that Artikutza has in the sustainability of San Sebastián. Water is important today, and it will continue to be in the future, the more predictable the climate the more important the water will be. In addition, Artikutza will continue to fulfill functions of great importance such as protecting biodiversity, sheltering forests and natural rivers and being a depository for cultural heritage and carbon.

Artikutza, therefore, fulfills the function of a natural laboratory where, taking into account the low social activity that takes place there, we can see the effects that global warming has on the flow of rivers, the temperature or water quality. Similarly, Artikutza offers great opportunities to monitor the dynamics of endangered species such as water moles to learn more about how to maintain their populations. In addition to this, Artikutza offers an amazing opportunity, the opportunity to see and enjoy a quite natural ecosystem.

Looking to the future, there are undoubtedly great challenges to come. Among them, climate change is noteworthy, as it can endanger some native species, but the greatest danger would be that society forgot the value of natural spaces, that it would not realize that a quality life requires a quality environment.


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