MIGUEL DELIBES DE CASTRO, GODFATHER OF HONOR OF NATURCYL 2021

The scientist Miguel Delibes deCastro, PhD in Biological Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, is a research professor at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). From 1988 to 1996 he was director of the Doñana Biological Station, a CSIC research institute. Member of various scientific and conservation organizations, both Spanish and international, he has belonged to the group of specialists in otters of the IUCN and is currently a member of the group of specialists in felids. He is also the founder and current president of the Spanish Society for the Conservation and Study of Mammals. He was advisor to the Spanish delegation at the Rio de Janeiro Conference on Biodiversity, held in June 1992 (Rio Summit). Author of more than a hundred scientific articles, published in specialized journals, as well as books on the distribution and conservation of the otter, the lynx and the bearded vulture in Spain, he has also written numerous popular works on issues related to the conservation of nature. For three years he worked as editor of the Salvat de la Fauna Encyclopedia, directed by Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente and translated into more than fifteen languages.

Delibes Jr. inherited the love for the environment from Delibes Sr., whose centenary of his birth was celebrated in 2020 and of whom NATURCYL will feature the exhibition "Miguel Delibes, in defense of nature and the rural world". Together, father and son, they wrote in 2004 "The Wounded Earth", a home talk about the threat of ecological collapse. The father defended rural culture sublimating it in his novels.

Recently, in an interview in a media outlet, when asked about the state of nature, Miguel replied, »We are facing a single problem: a single environmental and social problem with various facets. If we don't achieve global economic justice, social as well as ecological sustainability, we won't fix anything or save nature. As long as there are people who live very poorly, there will be people who damage the environment and people who destroy animal species; there will be forest loss; there will be loss of biodiversity; The hyper-fertilization of the land and oceans will continue unabated… And it seems inevitable that the world will become more and more complicated. Even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases altogether, rising temperatures, melting ice, rising seas, hurricanes and other extreme events will continue, all of which will give rise to great practical difficulties, as well as likely wars over Water. This is going further and can only be faced with global governance, with something like what the UN meant in times of fear of a nuclear apocalypse. To avoid the collapse of our world, climatic or otherwise, well it could be technological, for example—there are no local solutions”.

He also pointed out to us in this interview that “if we could be happy without buying a lot, without having to change houses or cars every so often, without having to go to the Maldives on vacation, we would be getting closer to a sensible idea of well-being. We need economists who guide us towards the economy of non-growth and politicians who help us go down that path without the need to be forced by a catastrophe like the current one or like others that may come».

We will be able to hear these and other reflections at Naturcyl 2021, when Miguel Delibes de Castro gives his keynote speech.

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