“For the Andalusian Regional Government, every day is an environmental day”. With these words, the Regional Minister for Sustainability, the Environment and the Blue Economy, Ramón Fernández-Pacheco, referred to the Environment Day that is being commemorated worldwide this Monday, which this year focuses on plastic pollution. He did so during the release of two endangered species, a griffon vulture and a kestrel, which took place in Sierra Alhamilla, in the province of Almería, to visualise this event.
“Today we wanted to make World Environment Day visible by highlighting the biodiversity of Andalusia with an activity as beautiful as returning two endangered species to their natural environment: a griffon vulture, which was very famous just a month ago for having spent several days in the Casa de las Mariposas, the most central building in the capital of Almería, and a kestrel, rescued last 25th in Fines, soaked by the heavy rains and with signs of malnutrition”, explained the Minister of Sustainability. Both have spent a period of care at the Centre for the Recovery of Threatened Species that the Junta de Andalucía has in the Sierra María – Los Vélez Natural Park, the CREA Las Almohallas, a centre that is a reference in the rescue, treatment and recovery of wildlife specimens.
Accompanied by the Director General of Forestry Policy and Biodiversity, Juan Ramón Pérez, and the territorial delegate, Manuel de la Torre, as well as the provincial coordinator of Environment Agents and Amaya, Fernández-Pacheco thanked “the coordinated work of all the professionals who make possible the recovery of these species that are so important for the conservation of our ecosystem”. In this regard, he pointed out that so far this year, there have already been 253 releases in Andalusia of specimens that were being cared for in the CREAs.
Fernández-Pacheco pointed out that “protecting and conserving the natural heritage of all Andalusians is part of the DNA of this Government of the Junta and it is our obligation to preserve it and pass it on to future generations in the best possible conditions”.
In this regard, the Minister highlighted the fact that “in Andalusia we are the autonomous community with the most powerful Circular Economy Law in Spain”, in force since 1 May, and recalled that the Regional Ministry is already working on a new waste regulation with the aim of ensuring that only 10% of waste ends up in landfill.
The best proof of this commitment to the environment is that nine environmental actions undertaken by this government of the Junta de Andalucía have been recognised by the European Committee of the Regions and have become part of the European Green Pact. These are the Andalusian Climate Action Plan 2030, support for local authorities to draw up municipal plans to combat climate change, the Andalusian Emissions Compensation System, the development of blue carbon offset projects, the Andalusian Climate Action Portal, the climate action report, the protocol for calculating the carbon footprint, an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and the greenhouse gas reduction plan.
“But we are not stopping here. We are currently working on several different lines of work, but all of them complement each other: the fight against climate change, circular economy, carbon footprint, blue economy, and protection and prevention”, said the minister.
Protected Spaces in Andalusia
Andalusia has a vast network of Protected Natural Spaces, with 24 natural parks, 28 nature reserves, 32 nature reserves, 32 natural sites, two protected landscapes, 60 natural monuments, 21 periurban parks, five nature reserves and three national parks, with the recent inclusion of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park. The figures declared at Community level and included in the Natura 2000 Network also form part of the Network. Andalusia has 63 Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPAs), 190 Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) and 176 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs).
In this respect, the Government of the Andalusian Regional Government has increased the Forestry Plan for the protection of nature, promoted the Wetlands Plan and the new Forestry Law. Furthermore, the protected area of the Despeñaperros Park has recently been extended and the Sierra de la Sagra Natural Park is to be created.
Activities for 5 June
During these days, there are many activities promoted by the Regional Ministry throughout Andalusia to raise awareness and visualise the importance of caring for the environment. This Sunday, for example, the Andalusian Public Ports Agency took part in the cleaning of the seabed in the Port of Rota Cadiz. In addition, this Tuesday, the Governing Council will approve the institutional declaration on the occasion of World Environment Day with the aim of raising social awareness about caring for the environment in which Andalusians live. Likewise, during these days, different workshops have been organised to raise awareness among schoolchildren, parents and teachers of the dangers caused by the use of plastic.