Isabel Laguna I Cádiz, (EFE) in the marshes of the Guadalquivir, in front of Doñana, in Trebujena, which will be “even a hoax” for the buyers of the 300 homes projected in a natural setting “inhospitable to live in, full of mosquitoes.”
Martín, president of Salarte, an NGO dedicated to the custody and recovery of the salt marsh, says he feels “very concerned” because “the political irresponsibility of everyone” is causing the developer company, which began the procedures 20 years ago, to be obtaining partial and sectoral authorizations.
A new Carob
“Since he is not in a hurry, in the end we will find a new Algarrobico, which, although it seems inconceivable, obtained all the authorizations. But in this case, in the middle of the Guadalquivir marshes, ”he explained to EFE.
In the Trebujena marshes, “exactly the same thing that happened in El Algarrobico” is happening. “They are getting all the papers one by one” due to the lack of zeal of the different public administrations that are giving continuity to the project.
An area almost uninhabitable for humans
“I am very sorry that society is being deceived,” he says while citing two examples, a few kilometers from the place that has received a favorable Strategic Environmental Declaration (DAE) from the Junta de Andalucía to build a tourism macro-project in the Guadalquivir marshes from Trebujena. Of two urbanizations with golf courses that are now “ghosts”, abandoned for decades.
The company, he says, has been authorized “for years” to build a hotel and a golf course. “They don’t do it because it’s a speculative process: they want to build 300 houses that, the next day, will be a failure.
The marsh is one of the most biologically productive ecosystems on the planet. But it is an extreme place for the human being. In winter, it is very humid; in spring, it is full of mosquitoes; in summer, the lancers and gray flies arrive. The marsh dries up and suffers great insolation; Selling homes there is a scam even for prospective buyers.”
Martín ventures that buyers “when they are there for three days are going to run, it is not urban or habitable. But the company doesn’t care what happens after selling the houses”.
A paradise for critically endangered species
This macro-urbanization is located entirely in an area classified by SEO/BirdLife as an Important Bird Area (IBA 259) “Marismas del Guadalquivir”. It treasures several Habitats of Community Interest, where numerous Critically Endangered species nest, breed, feed and rest. Like the marbled teal and the European eel, the endemic Iberian imperial eagle, the red kite, the Iberian sandgrouse or the purple heron.
The Cadiz Natural History Society has inventoried 545 species of fauna and flora in the Trebujena marshes. Among which stand out mollusks, hymenoptera, lepidoptera, macrophytes, fish, birds and even living fossils, he points out.
“The researcher and member of the Cadiz Natural History Society, Antonio López, identified, in 2021, in the same marshes that they want to bury, the species that holds the world record for permanence on the face of the earth, Triops cancriformis. This branchiopod crustacean has hardly changed its shape for 220 million years, since the Triassic. Being considered “’the oldest living animal species on the planet,’” he explains.
A five meter wall to prevent flooding
“This macro-urbanization constitutes a flagrant violation of European, national and regional legislation”, affirms Juan Martín. That he signed some of the allegations presented to the project planned in a flood-prone area and that, to prevent flooding, he plans to install “a retaining wall five meters high in the Guadalquivir marshes, an ecological attack in the 21st century.”
Juan Martín does not understand how to give the green light to this project. When “the Board has worked for many years side by side with the Trebujena City Council in the restoration of the marshes.
“It seems like a political maneuver. We are very sorry. The conservation of nature and the management of the territory should be out of the political debate and, above all, out of polarization”, he argues.
He believes that one of the “deceptions” is to say that this type of tourism project will generate employment. Second homes have been shown to generate ridiculous employment. With very little qualification and low remuneration” and “in a municipality that has a significant per capita income and testimonial unemployment figures.”
Other sustainable development models
He does not understand that in these circumstances the possibility of building in “the last intact marsh of the entire lower Guadalquivir” is considered.
“At the time when Doñana is highly altered hydrologically, many species are being saved on the left bank of the river.” “These marshes are the hope for many species. In addition to a place that will prevent the negative effects of climate change, it is a carbon sink and a source of green employment ”, he adds.
And he contrasts this model, which in his opinion is doomed to failure, with the project that Salarte has undertaken with the Grupo de Desarrollo Pesquero de la Costa Noroeste and WWF, investing 110,000 euros in the reinundation of two estuaries of 15 hectares next to the place planned for the macrourbanization.
“The Esteros de Manego Ecological Reserve and the Esteros del Guadalquivir Ecological Reserve are a thriving business,” he explains as he tells how production areas for shrimp, macroalgae and fish from estuaries have been set up, with a production that “feeds 50 families ”, nature and ornithological tourism companies.
“There are foreign tourists who come here to see birds that they would never find in other parts of Spain or Europe” or to experience fishing. “We are defending that the reinundation of the marsh generates biodiversity and a blue economy.”
In a model diametrically opposed to that of the controversial macro-urbanization, “which will only benefit a Belgian company and annihilate the enormous natural capital that the Trebujena marshes treasure today.” EFE