National park in Spain’s Andalucia loses its ‘green’ status

THE International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has removed Andalucia’s Doñana National Park from its green list due to ‘mismanagement’.

It makes Doñana the first nature reserve to be excluded from the IUCN list according to a report by the El Pais newspaper.

The IUCN’s director of protected and conserved areas, James Hardcastle told El Pais that ‘for the moment, the site does not meet the standard of the IUCN Green List’.

The expulsion would have been declared by a letter sent to the Andalucian government a fortnight ago, but administration sources told the EFE news agency on Monday that ‘they have no evidence that the IUCN has taken that decision’ and have not received a notification from the organisation.

They have also pointed out that ‘the IUCN evaluators have not set foot in Doñana’ and specified that the usual procedure, as what happened last June in Sierra Nevada, sees evaluators visit an area and then within six months, issue a report ‘in a serious way which is sent to the Andalucian government’.

In the case of Doñana, ‘this has not happened, and they did not come’, the sources continued.

The regional Ministry of the Environment commented: “It is difficult to understand that the trigger that would have led the IUCN to take this decision especially with a new law about to be applied to the area.”

That is a reference to a new agreement to change irrigation law in the area struck last month between the national government and the Andalucia Junta.

“We are in this new framework of Agreement for Doñana and we are going to continue working for and for the Park and its surroundings,” they said.

The IUCN maintains that despite the exclusion from the green list, Doñana is still a candidate for future re-inclusion in the future.


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