“Economic benefits of Natura 2000 in Spain”

In view of a report by the Ministry of Ecological Transition regarding Natura 2000 economic benefits, a lawyer has written a very ciritcal article in a national newspaper suggesting that “the enthusiasm shown in it should be replace by a degree of caution, because there are no real financial statements but mere aid and subsidies lists”.

Natura 2000

The ministry’s report “Economic Benefits of Natura 2000 in Spain” shows the implementation of this network in a large national territory, and, according to the lawyer Pilar Martínez, “it leaves out the damage it represents for important sectors of activity and thousands of citizens”.

The article entitled “Who benefits from Natura 2000?” just published in the second most important national newspaper, has been written by an expert on environmental law, who has been defending the interests of those affected by Natura 2000 for years.

The report shows that Natura 2000 has 1,862 areas in Spain, 27% of its territory, 14 million terrestrial hectares and more than 7 million marine hectares. Most of this surface is privately owned and “there is no budgetary items intended to compensate the owners of property and rights”, Mrs. Martínez writes.

According to this lawyer, “the benefit that the report assigns to Natura 2000 is obtained at the expense of the private patrimony of those who have interests in these territories, because we are in the presence of an expropriation, without justification, a confiscation”. “If we include the compensation cost to those who are deprived of their property, the balance of the Natura 2000 implementation in Spain would be negative”, she adds.

The report also points out that the economic benefits of Natura 2000 in Spain are 40 times greater than the managing and protecting costs, and that investing in it “is an excellent option from an economic and social point of view”.

The lawyer responds in her newspaper article stating that, “there are no real financial reports but mere aid and subsidies lists for various purposes in those protected areas, with no budgetary item to compensate the holders of consolidated rights”.

Click here for the full report in Spanish: https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/biodiversidad/publicaciones/beneficios_economicos_n2000_web_2019_tcm30-498070.pdf

Source: ABC