Spanish government blocks controversial irrigation law in Andalucia

Spanish government block controversial Andalusia plans.

A protection plan has been put in place for Donana National Park in Andalucia.

Spain’s caretaker government has seemingly made a ‘step in the right direction‘ to help protect a wetland area in Andalucia after coming to a rather shock and unexpected agreement with the regional authorities in the area.

This comes after severe backlash from environmental groups and experts which would have put one of the most threatened and important wetlands in Europe in further danger, but that backlash appears to have worked with the pause button being hit on any sort of plans.

The Donana National Park in Andalucia has marshes, forests and dunes which span across almost 320,000 acres and also includes a Unesco-listed national park, but despite that, it has faced difficulties and challenges in recent times.

These challenges have largely been down to the water supplies to the Donana National Park have declined drastically over the last 30 years, which is said to be due to numerous circumstances including climate breakdown, pollution, marsh drainage, farming and also mining.

Spanish government block Andalucia’s controversial plans

Environmental groups and activists have long been campaigning against the practices which go on in and around the National Park and have clamoured for protection to be put in place and help preserve it.

The area is said to be the home for millions of migrating birds as well as there being a huge population of endangered Iberian lynxes and groups have pointed out that the illegal use of wells which have been sunk in order to feed numerous soft fruit farms are causing the species to stress.

There had been a whole load of objections and calls for change from activist groups as well as warnings from the European Commission and Unesco, the conservative regional government of Andalucia announced worrying plans just last year.

Environmental groups want to protect Donana National Park

These plans were set to see an increase in the amount of irrigable land around Donana by 1,976 acres which would be good news for the strawberry farmers, who are said to be the ones sinking the illegal wells.

However, earlier this week regional president, Juan Manuel Moreno, said a vote on this important subject was to be suspended following a seemingly positive meeting with Spain’s acting environment minister Teresa Ribera.

During this meeting, a bumper €350m (£303m) package was discussed which would reportedly try and please everyone in the area when it comes to farmers and people looking to protect this hugely significant wetland in Andalucia.

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Written by

Aaron Hindhaugh

Qualified and experienced journalist covering all aspects of news and sport. Specialist in both Men's and Women's football with increasing coverage of golf and tennis.