The celebration of the Joint 2021 14th EWDA / 69th WDA-Conference will be virtual due to the sanitary restrictions that occurred after the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. However, this annual Conference normally gathers about 400 researchers from all around the world. With an estimated total CO2 emission of 1,200 tons in the last WDA-EWDA Joint Conference of Lyon (France) in 2012, this event will probably contribute with an annual carbon footprint equivalent to the emissions of over 200 European citizens along a year.
How can we mitigate and compensate the environmental effect caused by the Conference? The Organizing Committee of the Cuenca 2020 14th EWDA / 69th WDA Conference proposes as a principal measure for this goal the reforestation activities. The EWDA Sustainability Committee calculated that plantation of approximately 1,000 Mediterranean native trees would reduce the carbon cost of the presential Conference in a 40-year period. Two tree-planting activities had been organized in liaison wild local authorities, environmental associations and locals in wildfire devastated areas in the province of Cuenca. To carry out this ecological activity, a project has been designed with the regional government within the framework of an environmental reforestation and recovery programme already started to rehabilitate the burned forest at the areas of Majadas and Barchín del Hoyo. These plantations will be finally developed when the weather conditions are favorable and will contribute to repopulate these deprived areas for the benefit of the environment, the affected animal populations and the people living in these sparsely populated areas. This ecological activity is an important awareness-raising message about the importance of conserving nature and wildlife.
The highly motivated researchers can also contribute with donations through internationally certified CO2 reduction programs (www.goldstandard.org).