The Empleaverde (Green Employment) programme handed out 7.7 million euros last year to 69 environment-oriented projects. The funds for the 2018 campaign total 8.9 million

Improve the skills of 225 tourism workers taking care of wild bears (Fundación Oso Pardo); generate 50 jobs and help 165 unemployed people in the green economy industry to find jobs through social innovation (Santa María la Real Foundation), improve the training of 95 workers of green companies, and launch organic markets (Associación Valor Ecológico Ecovalía); these are three of the 69 initiatives designed by 62 entities that received funds last year from the Empleaverde programme, managed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment through the Biodiversity Foundation.

The purpose of this programme, which is co-funded by the European Social Fund and plans to invest 68 million euros until 2023, is to promote the green and blue economy and provide job opportunities and training for young people, women and residents in protected spaces or in natural and rural areas. It also supports the creation and consolidation of businesses. The 2017 programme will result in the creation of 500 jobs and the training of 14,000 people.

The funded projects have an impact on agriculture, with initiatives that focus on organic and sustainable agriculture and cattle farming, on specific crops, such as citrus, apples, and chestnut trees, and on forestry. Fishing and aquaculture are also present, as well as projects related to the marine environment dedicated to fighting waste disposal in the sea, or linked to the blue economy; for example, to promote sustainable coastal tourism, improve the management of ports or preserve coastal saltworks.

Food and the agrifood sector play a key role and will develop projects aimed at restaurants, fishmongers, or establishments that prepare, distribute and sell organic products. There are also projects linked to the environment and related economic sectors. Consequently, there will be initiatives dedicated to energy saving and efficiency, sustainable transport and mobility, renewable energy, waste management, and the development of the circular economy. Many of these initiatives will have an impact on rural areas, unpopulated areas, and protected natural spaces.

During the presentation of these data, Minister Isabel Garcia Tejerina stressed the programme’s figures, which, in the previous period, dedicated 45 million euros and supported more than 300 projects, cooperated with 500 organisations, and reached 1,300,000 people, resulting in the creation of 2,600 businesses in economic fields linked to the environment. In all, until 2023, Empleaverde plans to dedicate 68 million euros to support more than 50,000 people and 3,000 businesses and train 24,000 people. Of this amount, more than 10 million euros will go to the blue economy to create 600 jobs, support 400 businesses, and train 3,200 people in maritime-related activities.