Natural park under threat from town council

LAST UPDATED: 31 Mar, 2009 @ 08:12
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Natural park under threat from town council

Cabo de Gata set to reduce in size after Carboneras motion

THE socialist council of one Almería town wants to declassify almost 7,000 hectares of protected land along one of Spain’s last remaining virgin coastlines.

Councillors from the Carboneras town hall have approved a motion that will see 6,400 hectares of the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park lose its protected status.

Officials from the ayuntamiento believe a regional government ruling that extended the park’s boundaries to include 10,000 hectares of municipal land in 1994 was illegal.


“We have started political and administrative measures that eliminate a Junta de Andalucía decree that unlawfully extended natural park land,” a spokesman from the town’s council said.

“The land included in the park’s extension did not belong to the regional government nor was it donated,” he added.

News of the intentions of Carboneras has not gone down well with provincial socialist chiefs. Almería PSOE leader Martín Soler slammed the town’s leaders: “The council of Carboneras is wrong to even consider declassifying the protected land. It will drive the town to social ruin.”

Environment chief of the Junta de Andalucía, Fuensanta Coves also criticised the motion, which received the backing of all the town councillors in Carboneras. “It is unviable and anachronistic. We are not going to move a metre of the natural park.”

The Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park is the largest territorial-maritime nature reserve in Western Europe covering a total of 58,000 hectares. The natural park is home to several species of protected fauna and flora, including the pink snapdragon (Antirrhinum charidemi) and the rare Dupont’s lark (Chersophilus duponti).

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