Five million euros targeted for Cabrera National Park diverted by Balearic Government each year
The Regional Government of the Balearic Islands has dramatically reduced the budget for the National Park, down to levels which endanger its effectiveness as a protected area
Press Release Date: December 21, 2012
Oceana claims that although approximately five million euros are transferred each year from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment to the Balearic authorities for the conservation of Cabrera National Park, this funding is ultimately used for other purposes. This fact is made manifest by the dramatic drop in park economic resources and staff. Sources in the Spanish government’s Autonomous Organisation for National Parks have told Oceana that those funds are transferred from Madrid to the Balearics, but they do not reach Cabrera. The environmental organisation does not know how those funds are being spent.
The Executive Director of Oceana for Europe, Xavier Pastor, says that “by claiming not to have any funds, the Environment Council, headed by Gabriel Company, has cut back research, management, and surveillance programmes in the national park, bringing the level of investment close to zero. This makes it difficult to control illegal fishing and poaching in the park, thus seriously endangering the healthy state of the marine ecosystems which the park staff have worked so hard to protect in the last three decades.”
During the past two years, the Spanish government transferred approximately nine million euros to be used in Cabrera, which for the most part were not invested in the park. Oceana demands that the Councillor make public the details of how these funds were used.
According to Oceana, the Autonomous Organisation for Natural Parks and the Ministry of the Environment are legally responsible for ensuring the operation of the national park network and the Natura 2000 Network. For this reason, the international organisation for marine conservation has addressed Minister Arias Cañete to urge him to take prompt measures against the Balearic Regional Government´s crusade against Balearic natural areas, particularly against Cabrera, the principal maritime-terrestrial national park in the Mediterranean.