the scientist Miguel Delibes de Castro, 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. A member of various scientific and conservation organizations, both Spanish and international, he has belonged to the IUCN group of otter specialists and is currently a member of the group of felid specialists. He is also 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 magazines, as well as books on the distribution and conservation of the otter, lynx and bearded vulture in Spain, he has also written numerous outreach works on topics 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 his love for the environment from Delibes Sr., whose centenary of his birth was celebrated in 2020 and from whom NATURCYL will have the exhibition "Miguel Delibes, in defense of nature and the rural world". Together, father and son, they wrote "The Wounded Earth" in 2004, a home talk about the threat of ecological collapse. The father defended rural culture by sublimating it in his novels.
Recently, in an interview in the media, he answered when asked about the state of nature, Miguel replied, "that we are facing a single problem: a single environmental and social problem with various facets. If we do not achieve global economic justice, social as well as ecological sustainability, we will not 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 end animal species; there will be loss of forests; there will be loss of biodiversity; the hyperfertilization of the land and the oceans will continue without stopping... And it seems inevitable that the world will become more and more complicated. Even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases altogether, the increase in temperature, melting ice, rising seas, hurricanes and other extreme phenomena will continue, and all this will give rise to great practical difficulties, in addition to probable wars for Water. This is getting worse and it 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, it could well 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 to guide us towards the non-growth economy and politicians to help us go down that path without the need for a catastrophe like the current one or like others that may come.
We will be able to listen to these and other reflections at Naturcyl 2021, when Miguel Delibes de Castro gives his masterful talk.