The Marina Alta

The Marina Alta is a region in the north-east of the Spanish province of Alicante, characterised by a varied landscape with beaches, rocky coasts, orchards, a marshland and steep mountain ranges.  The climate is distinctly Mediterranean, with warm summers and mild winters, and the region therefore attracts many tourists.  It rains rarely, but often very intensely: the Marina Alta is the region in Spain where the highest rainfall intensity is measured.

In the Marina Alta lies the village of Pego, which was ravaged by major forest fires in 2015 and in 2022.  As a result, the vast forests on the mountain sides were charred in many places, with several pernicious consequences: the soil is no longer protected from erosion; rainwater washes down the mountains instead of penetrating the soil and replenishing aquifers; the landscape left behind after the fires is much less attractive for tourists and locals, and thousands of tonnes of carbon have been released into the atmosphere.

Desert Leaves, the Pego municipality and the associenation Pego Viu have teamed up to gradually restore the landscape, in a sustainable way.

In a first phase, about 10 hectares will be restored, with interventions to stop erosion, and with a smart choice of trees and plants to create an attractive landscape that is also more resistant to forest fires.  The intention is to expand the project further in the coming years with the financial support of corporate sponsors, in Pego and neighbouring villages.