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Plant-for-the-Planet Spain Awarded the Prestigious Andalucía Environment Prize 2024 on World Environment Day

By Jordi Juanós, Director of Plant-for-the-Planet Spain

A couple of weeks ago, while dining with my colleague Fabio, I received one of the most exciting calls of my professional life: it was from the Minister of the Environment of the Junta de Andalucía.

The purpose of the call was to convey wonderful news: we had been awarded the Andalucía 2024 Environment Prize, in the Climate Change category. Believe me, I celebrated it, both internally and externally, alone and with the team, the Board of Trustees, and donors. Although I am certain all awardees express similar sentiments, rarely does recognition truly reflect the immense amount of work dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Andalusians.

Immediately, I thought of all the individuals who have contributed to this recognition: I especially remembered Óscar, our Forest Engineer, whom I regard as the principal “culprit” of all this, given his Andalusian roots and remarkable professionalism. And, of course, our donors Caspar Berendsen and Celia Muñoz , for their continuous trust and confidence in us over the years.

To all of you, thank you very much on behalf of the Foundation and myself!

Óscar Pérula (Plant-for-the-Planet Spain) and Marifran Carazo (Mayor of the city of Granada) received the Andalucia Environment Prize 2024. // Copyright: Junta de Andalucía

The past four years have been marked by significant challenges for Plant-for-the-Planet Spain: pandemics, fires, very little rainfall, and political instability at a local level, but also have been years of hope and success: many future climate leaders from Andalucía, and above all, trees—more than 500,000 already planted in the Region!

I acknowledge that there have been times when the outlook seemed bleak, but I also want to fairly highlight all the positive and good experiences we have had throughout these years of the project. Without a doubt, what stands out most is the number of good people we have met everywhere: in the administration, companies, philanthropists, and suppliers. The level of involvement and commitment to the project has been incredible, and it is both just and necessary to recognize this as well. Thank you to all!

And now, we are looking ahead to carry on persevering with our commitment to Andalucía and its citizens for the restoration of degraded natural spaces.

The goal of planting 1 million trees in Andalucía by 2030 remains steadfast.

Additionally, we will continue to identify and empower many young Andalusians as future climate leaders. It may sound like rhetoric, but in 15 years, these young people will be the ones making critical decisions from their positions, hopefully with a climate-conscious perspective.

I will never tire of saying it: THANK YOU ALL! You provide us with the energy and determination to persevere in our mission.