Last week, Archipelagos found itself in the historic city of Santiago de Compostella in Spain for the purpose of contributing to the development of an exciting new intermediterranean action entitled LANDCARE.

The objective of LANDCARE is to improve current training capacities for graduates and young scientists, in relation to Land Degradation and Rehabilitation in Southern Europe.

This is very important as many different areas and habitats within the Mediterranean region are under threat or have already succumb to occurrences of land degradation (soil erosion, over-grazing, wildfires etc), which in turn affects important sectors of the economy (agriculture, fishing, tourism) and the supply of vital goods (drinking water, food).

Additionally, the process of the restoring the ecosystems and the biodiversity offers the significant potential to create new skills, jobs and business opportunities in these areas, improving the overall economy of the Mediterranean countries. This is especially important in Southern Europe, where youth unemployment is extremely high.

Eight Universities and research institutions from Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy, which have specific expertise in different fields of this subject, made this meeting incredibly informative, as well as successful. From Greece, the meeting was attended by scientists of the Geology department of Athens University and Archipelagos Institute.

We believe that Landcare is an important opportunity to give practical solutions to key problems related to land degradation. Archipelagos Institute has given priority to helping address the erosion of the islands, as the anthropogenic impact caused during the last decades, including substantially suicidal practices, within a few years will cause an irreversible destruction of the fertile land that took several centuries to form.