DOÑANA, an area widely regarded as one of the last natural wonders in Europe and one of the most important refuges for migratory birds on the continent, has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its national park status.
Franco’s government declared a nearly 35,000 hectare area in Huelva a national park on August 14, 1969 due to its particular importance in terms of biodiversity,.
The national park area has since been extended to more than 54,000 hectares. A further 68,000 hectares are classified as natural park.
The World Wildlife Fund has warned that despite its protected status there do exist threats to Doñana, specifically referring to “the theft of water, the theft of land and new road projects.”
At the same time the WWF applauds the High Court’s recent decision “to definitely bury the dredging of the Guadalquiver and the closure of 77 illegal wells, which makes it possible to discern a more hopeful future for this World Heritage.”
WWF España secretary general Juan Carlos del Olmo thanked everyone who works to make the protection of Doñana possible, but also said it was “necessary to honour the pioneers who fought for its conservation, facing with decision the new threats and challenges and demanding the responsible administrations ensure compliance with the laws to protect Doñana once and for all.”