Nature for sale? Chíllar River privatisation sparks outcry

Backlash Grows Over Controversial Plan Image: Shutterstock/ Jacek Jacobi

THE Junta de Andalucía’s proposal to privatise access to the Chíllar River’s natural area has stirred controversy. The picturesque Sierra Almijara, spanning from Malaga and into Granada, houses the Chíllar River with its breathtaking limestone gorges and crystal-clear pools.

Environmental Impact and Overcrowding

Overcrowding has led to environmental degradation, impacting the river’s biodiversity. Last summer there were days when approximately 3,000 people passed through the hiking area closest to the mouth of the river between Nerja and Frigiliana. The area has been depleted by the exploitation of illegal wells, birds of prey no longer nest here, and the habitat of many species has been destroyed.

Proposed Access Restrictions

In response, the Junta de Andalucía plans to hand over access control to a private company, limiting daily hikers to around 500 and imposing fees ranging from €6 to €12. Some feel that this move lacks transparency and may not be the best decision for this beautiful natural landscape.

Ecologistas en Acción (Ecologists in Action) deems the proposal a threat to Chíllar, and they say turning it into a ‘theme park’ jeopardises the area’s natural values.

Call for Comprehensive Studies

Critics argue for comprehensive studies on the river’s carrying capacity and demand the involvement of relevant authorities to ensure responsible and sustainable management of this natural treasure.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!