Recently the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) and the INE have published a detailed study on the demographic situation of the peoples of Spain. The conclusions are alarming and this word is not a rhetorical device. Let’s see some data to get an idea of the importance of the phenomenon:
More than half of the peoples of Spain, this is 4,955 are in serious danger of extinction, with high rates of death, by an aging population, and with very low birth rate. The FEMP has identified 1,300 localities that do not exceed 100 inhabitants, a population level that announces its disappearance. In the last 15 years, each month, two towns have approached this almost terminal scenario and half a thousand are below 50 inhabitants.
We must remember that a town with less than 500 inhabitants, has it very difficult to sustain itself.
From that moment the services to the population begin to collapse in cascade, a town with few inhabitants can hardly maintain plumbers, masons, school, pharmacy, supermarkets, etc.
In addition, a town without people occupied in peasant activities, is a town where the generation without biomass control, the null action on its territory, the lack of maintenance and cleaning of the environment, will turn it into grass for new fires. It is the abandonment of the field one of the main factors of large fires, so the data from the FEMP study should alert us and put us on notice. It is urgent that fire prevention, until now managed through infrastructures, incorporate rural development as a complementary and future method. The mounts without inhabitants, in addition to being a disturbing indicator, are guaranteed deposits for new fires and the greater the abandonment, the greater the fires. Field people, traditionally, kept the forests clean, opened pastures that served as firebreaks, used biomass and kept it under control, so when a fire arrived, it did not get out of control until it reached current levels. It is obvious that this culture of the countryside and that time have passed, but we can not forget what learning can be useful for us. It is also true that 50 years ago, some towns in our region had about two thousand inhabitants or three thousand and now they are below 500.
The mosaic project proposes a work methodology for fire prevention that incorporates this important tool. It can be said that to the extent that the agricultural-livestock occupation of the fields is favored, the base of the rural economy is being strengthened and, therefore, its demography is reinforced. There is an easily deductible equation, where it is evident that there is more agro-livestock less biomass, more development of the primary sector less fires. A mosaic field is a territory that can be defended very well from large fires, but this landscape is humanized, so on our website, at its head, we put “we are landscape builders”, without inhabitants this work is unrealizable.
The demographic winter is a serious problem of state, which demands serious structural measures, creativity and a cultural approach that recovers great forgotten or diminished human needs; the importance of grazing, the qualities of country life, the virtue of effort, the aesthetics of the fertile and the blessing of children, the sense of appreciation for the land and for the work that is inherited and donated to the following generations .
Well thought the mosaic project can be a tool to make attractive and viable the return to our villages and become an aid against the demographic winter.