THE Region of Murcia could be fined for not putting in place management plans to protect natural areas included in the EU’s Natura 2000 nature protection scheme.
Over 23 per cent of the land area within the region is included in this protection scheme, spread across 14 different areas, but none of the areas have yet established any management plans as requested by the EU.
Plans were meant to be in place by December 2014. Murcia said the delays are a combination of the workload within the Department of the Environment and resistance to the proposed plans on the part of farmers and other business concerns, but if they can’t justify the delays to the European Commission then they could be fined.
Failure to act could also result in the loss of European funding for rural and agricultural development.
Natura 2000 is a network of nature protection areas within the European Union, made up of special areas of conservation and marine sites.