Bermeo restores the natural area of Tonpoi for public use, and improves its resilience to climate change

2022 June 30
  • Local mayor Aritz Abaroa underlined the “environmental and social importance” of the regeneration initiative during an official visit from the vice minister of Environmental Sustainability of the Basque Government, Amaia Barredo, and the general manager of Ihobe, Alexander Boto
  • The second phase of this green initiative will start in October, linking the promenade to the Aritzatxu beach along the coast
  • The improvement is part of the LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project, the Basque Country's most significant climate action initiative for the coming years

The Tonpoi natural space in Bermeo has been opened to the public. After more than two years of works, the coastal town now boasts an area of great environmental value running between the Talape and Tonpoi cliffs, having regenerated a degraded area made inaccessible by kitchen gardens, walls and huts. The initiative is part of the the LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project, the Basque Country's most significant climate action initiative for the coming years.

Local mayor Aritz Abaroa talked about the “environmental and social importance” of regenerating this area during an official visit by Amaia Barredo, vice minister for Environmental Sustainability of the Basque Government, and the general manager of Ihobe, Alexander Boto

According to Abaroa, the area alongside the town centre was cleared and restored, and a periurban green infrastructure was designed using natural materials in line with sustainable gardening criteria. The newly-restored space has areas that will protect the park from climate change, and has been planted with local shrubs and trees that will grow to create shady areas. In addition, as explained by the council, the restoration project in this area of Atlantic countryside will cause microhabitats to appear and biodiversity to thrive.

Phase two: a coastal walk to the Aritzatxu beach

The creation of the Tonpoi green park will be completed with a second phase that will start in October, linking thee promenade to the Aritzatxu beach along the coast for the enjoyment of the citizens. The future pathway, around three kilometres long, will allow walkers to enjoy views of the bay and Cape Matxitxako to the west, and the island of Izaro and the Oka estuary to the east.

During her visit, the vice minister for Environmental Sustainability of the Basque Government stressed the Basque Government’s commitment to climate action. Barredo pointed out that the Basque Country is one of 22 regions in the world to have joined the United Nations Climate Ambition Alliance, “which gives international recognition to our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner, and to be a territory resistant to the effects of climate change”.

Barredo also underlined the importance of collaboration between administrations. She mentioned the work done by municipalities through the Basque Network of Municipalities for Sustainability, Udalsarea 2030, and the LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project, “an excellent example of a transformational multi-level governance project”.

Likewise, Alexander Boto, general manager of Ihobe, the Publicly-Owned Environmental Management Company of the Basque Government, underlined the strategic and political significance of Urban Klima 2050 which, he said, has opened the door to a review of the Basque Country's Climate Change Strategy-KLIMA 2050.

Among other initiatives, Boto drew attention to the approval of the 2021-2024 Energy Transition and Climate Change Plan, “a plan which not only integrates the energy transition and climate change mitigation, but also adaptation and the concept of justice for all”.

About LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050

The Basque Country’s most ambitious climate initiative will transform the region with a total of 40 coordinated climate change mitigation and adaptation actions between 2019 and 2025. It is led by the public company Ihobe, part of the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, which works with around twenty entities, including two other areas of the Basque Government (the Department of Health and the Directorate of Ports and Maritime Affairs), the three provincial councils, the city councils of Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Donostia/San Sebastián, Bakio, Bermeo, Gernika-Lumo and Zarautz, two public companies of the Basque Government (EVE and URA), as well as technology and research centres (AZTI, BC3, Neiker, Tecnalia and Tecnun) and the Naturklima foundation.

With a budget of 19.8 million euros, it oversees the effective roll-out of the KLIMA 2050 Climate Change Strategy of the Basque Country for 2050.

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Politicians attending the event