THE recent declaration of the Dolmens of Antequera and El Torcal as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is undoubtedly the natural heritage story of 2016 for Malaga province.
In 2017, the provincial council hopes to go one step further by obtaining maximum protection for the Sierra de las Nieves, which aspires to become Andalucia’s third national park alongside the Sierra Nevada, and Doñana.
A formal request from the governing body of the natural park was lodged with the Junta de Andalucia regional government in 2011, and the gauntlet was taken up by the Environmental Ministry.
Following six years of bureaucratic negotiations the end of the road is now in sight, with the park expected to be granted national park status by the end of 2017, provided the country has managed to solve the puzzle of a stable government by that point.
The ministry’s final proposal was submitted at the end of 2015, and a dedicated team is now working to ensure that their paperwork conforms precisely to the requirements of the new National Parks Act, which was enacted in December 2014.
The Board has now launched a campaign to enlist the support of local residents via a petition on the website change.org, and on social media using the hashtags, #SierradelasNieves and #ParqueNacional.