Protesters march to save Doñana wetlands preserve

Protest march in Andalucia Saturday under the banner of 'Salvemos Doñana' (Save Doñana'). Photo: Tercera Información
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• ‘Save Doñana’ coalition rejects Gas Natural Fenosa underground storage plans
• Groups want new environmental impact studies of Fenosa’s projects in Doñana

More than 1,500 demonstrators marched and rallied in the coastal Andalucian town of El Rocío Saturday to protest plans by Spanish energy giant Gas Natural Fenosa to construct an underground natural gas storage facility in the subsoil of the Doñana natural wetlands preserve and to call for the conversion of Fenosa’s Doñana facilities to the production of renewable energies.

Marching in support of the Salvemos Doñana (‘Save Doñana’) coalition, the protesters represented dozens of local communities in the Doñana region as well as 200 regional and national support organisations, including environmentalist and anti-fracking groups, labour unions and political parties. Since early November, Greenpeace España has gathered more than 55,000 signatures to a petition to stop the natural gas facility in Doñana, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site covering 209 square miles within the estuary of the Guadalquivir River in Andalucia.

Speakers representing the coalition called on Fenosa to cease its natural gas exploration drilling the wetlands region and called for the Spanish government to reject Fenosa’s application to build a natural gas storage facility there. The coalition has called for new environmental studies, to incude seismic and hydrological impact reports, without which it says is impossible to gauge the true environmental impact of the Fenosa’s gas production and storage plans for the region.

► Read More in Spanish at El País, Tercera Información and El Mundo

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