#VIDEO: Doñana river dredging placed on hold

Guadalquivir river dredging project threatening the Doñana reserve has been placed on hold. Photo: Jorge Sierra / WWF
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• Spanish gov’t assures UNESCO that dredging of Guadalquivir will not proceed
• WWF España calls for definitive proof, says Doñana wetlands remain in danger

Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, with the support of the regional government of Andalucia, has reportedly responded to a 1st December deadline set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), agreeing to the UN agency’s request that Spain halt a dredging project in the Guadalquivir River delta that threatened the environment of the 209-square-mile Doñana wetlands reserve, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.

Spanish environmental organisations deemed the Spanish government announcement a positive move toward the preservation of the Doñana reserve, also under threat from natural gas drilling and storage activities by Spanish energy multinational Gas Natural Fenosa. But, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, which spearheaded the move to stop the Guadalquivir dredging project, say it wants to see more proof from Spain’s federal government and the Andalucian regional authorities that the project has been definitively shelved.

UNESCO had threatened to place the Doñana reserve on its list of endangered World Heritage Sites, making it the first such endangered UN-designated site in Europe, were the Spanish government not to agree to halt the dredging project. Last week, some 20 activists from Greenpeace España began a blockade of Fenosa’s controversial natural gas production and storage facility and continue to occupy the site, demanding that the site be closed and calling on Fenosa to begin to transition from fossil-fuel energy production to renewable energy production in Spain.


► Read More in Spanish at Europa Press and El Mundo …

► Read Statement in Spanish from WWF España, here …

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