The Minister for the Ecological Transition and Sustainability, Olga García, has defended in the plenary session of the Assembly of Extremadura the general policy carried out by the Junta de Extremadura regarding the management of the Monfragüe National Park
The Minister for the Ecological Transition and Sustainability, Olga García, has assured that since July 2019, work is being done to “protect, conserve, order and disseminate the natural and cultural heritage of this unique space”, which after the pandemic has managed to recover the normality at the tourist level both at Easter and on the bank holiday last May 1st, when record numbers of visitors have been recorded.
During her speech, the councilor recalled the function of the Master Plan for the Use and Management of Monfragüe, as a guide for the management of the space, being consistent with the objectives of the National Parks Network. Olga García has stated that “we have already begun the steps to modify the PRUG and reduce the restrictions on traditional uses, with the maximum possible social participation”.
He has announced that negotiations are taking place with the owners of a private estate, so that “very soon the Extremaduran public area of the National Park could be expanded by almost 900 hectares.”
Regarding the actions to control the population of ungulates for health reasons through captures in cages and fences, it is an activity that has been carried out since 2016 and the counselor recalled that “all these control methods are legal and their main objective is to contribute to tuberculosis control.
Regarding the discharges of the summer of 2021, Olga García has indicated that “it was an erroneous management that we have denounced before the responsible organisms and that gave rise to the immediate modification of the water law to prevent it from happening again.” In any case, these abusive discharges did not affect the species or the habitats of Monfragüe.
In addition, the counselor has addressed the direct investments made in the National Park in the last three years, which have amounted to 3,440,604.61 euros. She has also made reference to the planned future performances, valued at more than 10.5 million euros.
In 2019, the Monfragüe National Park revalidated the “Q” certification for Tourist Quality in the category of Protected Natural Areas; and in March 2021, the certificate as a ‘Starlight Tourist Destination’. In addition, it continues to be accredited with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, has the SAFE TOURISM Certificate from the Spanish Tourist Quality Institute and is part of the sustainable tourism network.
Regarding the control or eradication of invasive species such as the Azolla, Olga García explained that since May 2020 work has been done on the removal of possible aggregates in the section of the Tagus River as it passes through Monfragüe and on the placement of floating barriers to prevent the spread.
The Minister ended her speech by stressing that «Monfragüe constitutes a common heritage for Extremadura in which the general conservation objectives must prevail over any others and we have dedicated our efforts to this in recent years, far from controversy and external noise».
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.