The main objective of LEWO was to reduce the impact of human actions on natural heritage, encourage the sustainable use of natural resources and promote environmental education and citizenship participation. It sought to do this with the participation of volunteers through the European Solidarity Corps programme.
The project carried out volunteering activities aimed at the protection, restoration and management of 17 Natura 2000 network sites (core breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species) in the Galicia region, Spain. The project was also aimed at promoting citizens’ environmental awareness through a participation model able to connect them with stakeholders. It also strived to raise awareness on citizenship rights and promote the value of volunteering for young people, while contributing to training opportunities for 300 young Galicians who can make a significant contribution to society.
The project contributed to the management and preservation of habitats and species in these 17 network sites through daily actions of cleaning, improvement of access and fighting against invasive species. The benefits of nature conservation encouraged the replication of the same actions in all Natura 2000 sites in the region, boosting participation from a greater number of volunteers and fostering the collaboration with new stakeholders.
The project also contributed to create improved environmental awareness for at least 20,000 people through the promotion of environmental volunteering, educational activities, as well as information campaigns for the reduction of carbon footprints. The project also promoted European awareness among young people, and improve perception of European environmental policies among local communities to make rural areas more aware of opportunities through programmes such as LIFE and the European Solidarity Corps.
The project was coordinated by the regional office for youth, volunteering and participation of the Galicia region, in collaboration with the regional office for the natural heritage protection. While the total project budget was €800,162, the EU contributed with €478,677 in funding.