Greater flamingos, Coto Doñana National Park, SpainAN OMBUDSMAN has launched an investigation into the worrying risks to Donana National Park.

Andaluz official Jesús Maeztu wants to give people ‘transparent information’ on the current situation of the beleaguered Sevilla/Huelva zone, which risks being added to UNESCO’s list of endangered world heritage sites.

He hit out at controversial economic projects either proposed or already carried out there,  such as the dredging of its wetlands, widening of nearby roads and Gas Natural Fenosa’s plan to store gas underneath it.

The 543 km2  Donana is one of Europe’s most important wetlands

Jesús Maeztu, the Andaluz ombudsman
Jesús Maeztu, the Andaluz ombudsman

and is home to some 4,000 plant and animal species.

“These goings on generate very justified worries”, said Maeztu.

“The worldwide recognition of its uniqueness has not prevented projects from being carried out year after year despite the cause for alarm they raise.

“Some examples are the gas projects, the  road connection between Huelva and Cadiz , the failed Balboa pipeline and refinery project, the dredging of the river Guadalquivir and the overexploitation of the aquifer with hundreds of illegal wells.

“Economic development that is not compatible with respect for donana natural park to triple in sizeenvironmental values is not sustainable.”

Once completed, Maeztu also hopes the study will help politicians propose fresh measures to guarantee its conservation.

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