The Thursday Lecture
Thursday May 16, 2019 4:00pm
Presenter:Miguel Rios
Sala Marbella in the Hapimag Resort, Camilo Jose Cela, Marbella

This presentation largely covers the role of ViBio in recuperating biodiversity in rural homes, farms and natural areas

The speaker will talk on the importance of the region of Malaga and Cadiz, with its magnificent biodiversity and what can be done at home to help migrant birds and general flora and fauna. He will also cover the new movement of Fridays For Future and its crucial importance for this generation.

The Iberian Peninsula is visited annually by about seven hundred million birds during their migration from North Europe to Africa. Most of them cross through the straights of Gibraltar and through Cadiz and Malaga. Many of them remain in the peninsula during the winter and don’t reach Africa. In the spring they meet here, they feed, reproduce and raise their offspring until they reach maturity. Their natural habitats and agricultural crops have been diminished in their capacity to sustain wildlife due to several factors: among them: climate change, season irregularities, drought, and increased use of pesticides, single crops methods, and loss of soil fertility. European community studies indicate that in the last ten years Europe has lost two thirds of its insect population. All this has an enormous impact on general biodiversity and on the bird’s population.


At the same time new opportunities have come up. Thousands of rural homes have been built all along the countryside, mostly in Malaga and Cadiz. These homes have been acquired by Spaniards and Expats who love Nature and have developed sensitivity to the environment. The VIBIO project is directed to these people.


VIBIO’s purpose is to provide support to rural homes, farms as well as urban homes, so they can encourage Biodiversity in general with proactive actions. For this purpose, VIBIO gives support to the owners so they can plant the adequate gardens to support Biodiversity in their homes. Workshops will be provided to help identify and provide plants, nests, feeders, ponds and other tools to sustain the different species.

With expert advice and workshops the rural owners can become agents for conservation in their own homes. They can attract birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects in their properties to sustain the food chain as well as pollinators that benefit agricultural production. Use of native plants is promoted, since the exotic ones don’t share the evolutionary history and adaptation of the native fauna, and thus do not provide appropriate sustenance.

To summarise, VIBIO will facilitate workshops in their Nature Centres to all those who wish to collaborate and participate. There they will be able to learn all they need to protect, harbour and support wildlife in general: birds, insects, amphibians, mammals, etc., and become expert naturalist and conservationists. A network of micro-habitats for wildlife will be created through homes and farms and thus  losses in their natural environment can be mitigated and biodiversity increased. The birds will find refuge in their routes through these microhabitat networks.


Yes, humans can be positive, beneficial and creative agents in supporting nature.


Miguel Rico studied in Spain, also at the University of San Jose, California and Sorbonne in Paris.  He worked as Director of the Institute for Environmental Education at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. He has been an activist in several conservation issues  and is currently president of ViBio- Viviendas para la Biodiversidad (Homes for Biodiversity)


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