Decision : CONF 201 XII.34-35
Doñana National Park (Spain)
XII.34 The State Party informed the Centre via letter that its report would only be available after 15 February 2002. The letter notified the Centre of a meeting on 14 February 2002 of the Joint Committee for the Management of Doñana National Park, and the State Party’s intention to provide a report on the state of conservation of the site following this meeting. The full report provided by the State Party noted that the project for the proposed expansion of the Port of Seville had not been approved and that it is subject to expert review by stakeholders. Furthermore, progress in the consultation process and institutional arrangements for finalising the new Management Plan and the execution of special plans for the protection of the Iberian lynx and the Imperial Eagle (decline of populations due to combination of problems) were noted and that a regional approach is needed. Concerning the illegal water extraction it was stated that actions are taken with the Hydrographical Confederation of Guadalquivir to address this problem. However the Restoration Plan for the Aznalcollar Mine is still to be addressed, as the mine site is releasing a small amount of acid water. Concerning the monitoring of water quality it is noted that water entering the National Park shows minimum levels of pollution. The Restoration Plan requires implementation over a number of years. The Park Administration is exerting increasing control on the Rocío Pilgrimage and environmental education activities are implemented. After the 2nd International Meeting of Project Doñana 2005 (November 2001), a Scientific Committee was created, and a Co-ordinating Commission to link Project Doñana 2005 and the Green Corridor Programme was established. IUCN noted that the situation of the Iberian Lynx has been aggravated, there is a lack of road speed limits and wildlife fatality mitigation infrastructure, and that the pilgrimage is not a single event but a combination of different pilgrimages throughout the year involving 3 - 5,000 people and hundreds of vehicles crossing the site. IUCN considered that these pilgrimages could not be considered "traditional" in the way they are occurring. However, the State Party is making concerted efforts and investing substantial funds to address the range of issues affecting the site.
XII.35 The Bureau commended the State Party for its continued efforts towards the conservation of the site. The Bureau noted with concern a number of issues to be addressed including the Iberian Lynx population and the series of pilgrimages through the Park. The Bureau urged the State Party to give priority to promoting integrated regional land-use planning in order to minimise impacts related to irrigation and road design, construction and management around the site.