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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.5 Green volunteering, production and consumption

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Green volunteering
  2. Green production and consumption

Green volunteering

There is no national 'green' volunteer program dedicated for young people. However, there is a nationwide promotion for these types of environmental volunteer initiatives promoted by the Spanish State in conjunction with the Autonomous Regions. Many of these initiatives are directed towards the population who are of legal age and some others include the participation of minors as indicated in the Volunteering Law 45/2015, that "children under 16 and over 12 may carry out voluntary action if they have the express authorisation of their parents, guardians or legal representatives.

For information about voluntary proposals of the Autonomous Regions, the directory of Environmental Volunteers of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge ( directorio de voluntariados medioambientales del Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y Reto Demográfico) can be consulted.


Awareness and Volunteering Plan of the Autonmous Organism National Parks:

Its main objective is to contribute to environmental awareness through the development of projects and activities in the different spaces that compose the network of national parks, as well as in the farms and centers belonging to the national parks. Its main lines of action are:

Monitoring and evaluation of the National Parks Network. Involvement of social agents and participation of society. Improvement of scientific knowledge.

Complementary activities to achieve the objectives of each of the national parks.

The main task of environmental volunteering is to facilitate awareness and the change of attitudes towards the environment as an environmental education tool; in addition to offering a space that satisfies the demand for social participation in knowledge and intervention on the quality and conservation of the environment.

It is developed through two phases: the participation of NGOs as organizers of the different activities to be carried out, and the role of those who want to collaborate in environmental volunteering tasks.

People interested in participating should contact the NGO responsible for the development of the volunteer projects in national parks. Volunteering is for people over 18 years of age.


Volunteering at the Biodiversity Foundation:

The Biodiversity Foundation (Fundación Biodiversidad) is a public sector foundation belonging to the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge created in 1998 to protect the natural capital and biodiversity of the Spanish territory.Although it does not have volunteer projects exclusively for young people, it has several volunteering strategies in which they can take part.

Among them, the program Clean as a whistle (La mar de limpio) whose overall objective was to promote citizen participation as the best tool for the protection of beaches and coasts and for the fight against marine litter, has organised 5 environmental interpretation routes aimed at an adult public and cleaning and waste collection activities on beaches with the participation of more than 1,000 volunteers and in which more than 9,000 pieces of waste have been collected.


Other volunteering promoted by CENEAM:

In the area of environmental volunteering, there are different initiatives promoted by NGOs and foundations. From the National Center for Environmental Education (CENEAM), various types of volunteers from the sector are spread, which also participate in the National Parks Volunteer Program. Among the main highlights:


Spanish Ornithological Society, SEO/BirdLife:

The Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/Birdlife) organizes numerous volunteering programs ( programas de voluntariado) for birds and nature, such as the bird tracking program, "Wings on Water" program, National Parks Volunteering Program, Riet Vell Reserve Program, Popular census of Carraca, and the program of important areas for bird conservation. In December 2022 they had 21876 members. This represents an increase of 7.94% over the last year. A total of 143,398 people have participated in social, educational and volunteer activities.


World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Spain (España):

In Spain, this international organization has volunteering programs whose main objective is to recover degraded areas, to help conserve the natural spaces, to educate the population on the importance of preserving them, to help restore habitats of endangered species and forest ecosystems of high ecological value. In the last year 2022, they have had an expenditure of 10,117,897.45 € and an income of 10,643,460.25 €.


Greenpeace Spain (España):

Greenpeace volunteering is organized in local groups throughout the Spanish territory with the aim to carry out activities to spread their campaigns, collaborate in the work of the Organization and represent it at the regional level. Those who join as volunteers collaborate in these groups and commit to the principles of the organisation which are independence and pacifism.

Greenpeace is funded through donations and monthly fees, the budget in 2022 was 18,875,454€.


Green production and consumption


Spanish Circular Economy Strategy. “España Circular 2030”

At the public policy level, in June 2020 the Government approved the Spanish Circular Economy Strategy, called "Spain Circular 2030".

This strategy is aligned with the objectives of the two EU circular economy action plans, "Closing the loop: an EU action plan for the circular economy" of 2015 and "A new Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe" of 2020, as well as with the European Green Pact and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The main objectives of this strategy are:


  1. To reduce by 30% the national consumption of materials in relation to GDP, taking 2010 as a reference year.
  2. Reduce waste generation by 15% compared to 2010.
  1. Reduce food waste generation throughout the food chain: 50% reduction per capita at household and retail level and 20% reduction in the production and supply chains from 2020 onwards.
  2. Increase reuse and preparation for reuse to 10% of municipal waste generated.
  3. Improve water efficiency by 10%.
  4. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to below 10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.


Implementation of the project in each municipality is on the account of the municipalities, taking into consideration both material and human resources.