Green groups pressure Spain over wetlands

2016-11-30 21:55


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Madrid - Environmentalists piled pressure on Spain on Wednesday over its sprawling Donana wetlands, a Unesco World Heritage site they believe is at risk and could be put on the UN body's list of endangered habitats.

Greenpeace activists blocked natural gas operations near the wetland reserves on Spain's southern coast - home to more than 4 000 species including the endangered Iberian lynx.

And WWF made yet another appeal for Donana, just a day before Spain is due to hand over a report to Unesco on its management of the wetlands at the request of the Paris-based organisation.

"Donana is in very serious danger," said Juan Carlos del Olmo, head of WWF Spain.

"We don't want it to be put on the list of endangered sites, but soon there won't be any other option."

Illegal farming

The government has defended itself by saying the wetlands are well protected and are even included in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's green list, which recognises good management of natural areas.

Environmental groups don't dispute that, but argue that activities surrounding the huge area of lagoons, woodlands and pristine beaches are a threat.

WWF says the wetlands now only receive a fifth of the water they need, in part due to illegal farming nearby.

They believe the site also faces further damage with nearby mining, gas and dredging activities.

Read more on:    wwf  |  unesco  |  spain

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