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Spain starts the public process to designate 41 marine Special Protection Areas (SPAs), totalling almost 50,000 km2

The proposal, published by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM), mirrors the 42 marine IBA inventory elaborated by SEO/BirdLife and published in 2009 with LIFE funds, plus two extra sites confirmed during the execution of LIFE+ INDEMARES. Only three areas have been left aside for now, due to potential conflicts with third countries: Gibraltar, the Concepción Bank and Chafarinas.

Spain starts the public process to designate 41 marine Special Protection Areas (SPAs), totalling almost 50,000 km2

The proposal, published by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM), mirrors the 42 marine IBA inventory elaborated by SEO/BirdLife and published in 2009 with LIFE funds, plus two extra sites confirmed during the execution of LIFE+ INDEMARES. Only three areas have been left aside for now, due to potential conflicts with third countries: Gibraltar, the Concepción Bank and Chafarinas.

This is the first solid step towards the designation of a coherent network of marine Natura 2000 sites in Spain, and SEO/BirdLife congratulates the MARM for this. Assuming they were designated with no major incidences, this would be the first complete national network of marine SPAs in Europe. The fact that the proposal is based on the results of two LIFE projects is a guarantee of its rigour, and for sure it will be automatically endorsed by the European Commission.

The proposal has arrived short before the next National elections, which could slow down its final approval, but SEO/BirdLife encourages the present and future Governments to speed up the process as much as possible. It is also important to add the three remaining marine IBAs to this network of SPAs.

Once designated, the following step will be the elaboration of a detailed management plan for each site, for which the MARM has allowed a period of 2 years. For this step it will be crucial to involve all the relevant stakeholders.

Source :

http://www.marm.es/es/biodiversidad/participacion-publica/borrador_orden_zepa_marinas.aspx

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