Spain descarta three parks to avoid diplomatic conflicts
The environment has sucumbido in front of the diplomacy. Of the first network of protection of marine birds have fallen three planned parks in waters limítrofes with Morocco and Gibraltar. The Spanish Government has not wanted conflicts and has opted for recessing his initial proposal. Even so, they remain 41 spaces proposed that suppose «a jump advance» in the conservation, according to the environmentalists.
The Ministry of Environment published yesterday the draft of ministerial order that declares the first marine network of spaces protected. It treats of a complete listing with 41 spaces that will be classified like Zone of Special Protection for the Birds. In the final listing have fallen three of the planned areas: the Narrow of Gibraltar, the Chafarinas and the Bank of the Conception. Environment admits that it has withdrawn them to open «a period of reflection with Outsides», since they are in waters that demand Morocco and Gibraltar.
The ministerial order will protect almost 50.000 square kilometres. In each zone establishes limitations of use and controls, as that have not poured of hydrocarbons or avoid the accidental captures of birds in the networks of the fishermen. To identify the areas of value, the Spanish Society of Ornithology (CATHEDRAL-Birdlife) realised with European finance censuses in more than 37.000 kilometres and marked with GPS more than 200 marine birds. It treated to identify the spaces of importance for the marine birds protected 20 years after realising this process in earth.
In the initial listing of CATHEDRAL appeared the islands Chafarinas, to the east of Melilla and to alone 2,5 miles of the Moroccan coast, where there are colonies of pardela cenicienta and seagull of Audouin, species loomed. Also it included part of the Narrow of Gibraltar, main migratory route of the continent, and the Bank of the Conception, northeast of Canaries. There they emerge deep waters, something that confers him a big biological wealth.
The general director of Forest Politics, José Jiménez, explained yesterday that these three zones have withdrawn for being in waters in international dispute: «Where there is a dispute go to do a reflection more pausada with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs». Jiménez defines these zones like «those places with some conflicts in which they are not clear the limits».
Spain already declared a Place of Interest Comunitario in the Bay of Algeciras. Gibraltar and London resorted to the Court of the EU when considering that vulneraba his sovereignty, but kla justice refused this request. Spain does not recognise sovereignty of Gibraltar on the waters. «The Places of Interest design to protect determinate species and it is necessary to justify it», explains Jiménez, that defends the withdrawal of the three problematic zones because «they are not only scientific questions».
Up to now there were natural spaces in earth that, in occasions, had some continuity to the mar. Also existed reservations pesqueras and the underwater park of The Cachucho, in front of Cantabria. But the network of ZEPA Marina is the first designed like such, with big areas protected even far of the seaboard.
In 2006 the Council of State realised a report on request of the Government on the implication to declare zones protected on the high seas. The report remembers that the Chafarinas already were declared «national shelter of hunting» in 1982. And it recommended that if it looked for his protection did in an a lot main area and of conjoint form with Morocco.
The environmentalists of CATHEDRAL-Birdlife regret the withdrawal of these three zones protected, but still like this consider that the draft of the ministerial order is «a big step to the conservation of our seas». Pep Arches, manager of the Marine Program of the CATHEDRAL, explains that when declaring a marine zone protected «would keep the existent uses», like the fishing, but it would be necessary to avoid the damages to the birds. Yes it admits that the approval of plans of exploration in search of gas or hydrocarbons would be more complicated once protected.
The ministry has given of term to receive allegations until 8 November and, according to Jiménez, his intention is to approve the listing before it finish the term of office and stands out that Spain is the European country more advanced in the formality. As it treats of a ministerial order does not do fault that go through the Council of Ministers. The CATHEDRAL admits that it is difficult that approve this mandate, but remember that it is a commitment of the two last ministers of Environment.