Environmental groups denounce ‘worrying situation’ at Doñana National Park

UNDER THREAT: Doñana National Park.

UNDER THREAT: Doñana National Park. Credit: Creative Commons

ENVIRONMENTAL groups have told a delegation from the Council of Europe that the Doñana National Park faces huge problems and wants them to demand that Spain complies with its obligations. 

Ten years ago the park was given the European Diploma for Protected Areas on the basis Spanish authorities met two conditions and seven recommendations. 

But nine years on Ecologistas en Acción and WWF say neither condition has been met and only one of the recommendations fulfilled. 

Representatives of the groups met the delegation on Wednesday as it toured the site to see if the diploma should be renewed. 

The two NGOs consider that Spain has failed and told the delegates that the park faces “serious threats.” 

The critical one is the over-exploitation of aquifers around Doñana which are fundamentally degrading the marshes, which are crucial feeding and nesting grounds for birds and home to the Iberian Lynx. 

Also of concern are the reopening of the Aznalcollar mine and urbanisation projects on the banks of the Gudalquivir river. 

The WWF representative in Doñana Juanjo Carmona explained that together with Ecologistas they have presented the Council with a report in which they analyse the current serious situation of Doñana. 

In any case, the WWF spokesperson does not want Doñana to be deprived of any international recognition, but he denounces the fact that it is not possible to promise that the problems will be solved without actually taking effective measures. 

Secretary general of WWF, Juan Carlos del Olmo, said: “Spain is not fulfilling its commitment to the international organisations that watch over the protection of our planet’s natural treasures.” He is demanding that the Government and the Junta de Andalucia stop ignoring the recommendations of these organisations and assume once and for all “their responsibility to defend this enclave.” 

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Dilip Kuner

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