The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a loan to the Government of Castilla y León to finance environmental investment in the region.  EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza and the President of the Government of Castilla y León, Juan Vicente Herrera, held a meeting in Valladolid today in which they signed the contract for the last EUR 100 million instalment of the loan.  The EIB will provide a total of EUR 300 million for environmental investments in the water and forestry sectors in Castilla y León.

Under this loan, the investments in the water sector will help to ensure the reliability of water services, increasing distribution capacity in areas with growing populations, and improve the quality of both drinking water and effluents discharged into surface waters.

The forestry investments will support the afforestation measures contained in the Region’s 2007-13 Rural Development Plan and will be partly financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The programme comprises a large number of activities located throughout the region and centred on:

  • Silvicultural measures to prevent the risk of forest fires.
  • Establishment of new forest plantations: the programme includes 12 operations to replant 4 738 hectares of degraded or damaged forest.
  • 28 100 hectares of new forest plantations on former agricultural land.
  • 5 000 hectares of fast-growing poplar plantations.
  • Measures to promote the demand for biomass-derived bioenergy.

These schemes will bring multiple environmental benefits including the protection of biodiversity, improved health of forest ecosystems, capture of greenhouse gases, reduction of soil erosion and water management. The investment programme is designed to foster rural employment by promoting demand for forestry resources.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term financing arm of the European Union (EU), working to further European objectives. Established in 1958, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 other countries worldwide. The Bank's financing is geared to well-defined European policies. Financing investment in human capital formation, health, education, culture, and environmental protection is high on the list of EIB priorities.