Dune maintenance – work of digging out alien invasive species in the dune areas – Working together with Marbella Town Council
The declaration by the Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucía at the end of 2015 as the Dunas de Marbella Ecological Reserve gives public recognition as Natural Heritage to the 13km of coastline to the east of Marbella, situated in the townland of Marbella.
To attain this recognition, the hard work of the Pro Dunas Association has paid off. It drew attention to the value of the 9 dune areas where over these years the Association has been indispensable in carrying out the identification, recovery, rehabilitation and dune conservation work since 2004. Without the constant commitment of the group and with the dedicated human and logistical support of the Delegation of the Environment of Marbella Town Hall and the active involvement of the Regional Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucía, this natural and immense ecological wealth that is now visible on the coast of Marbella, would have been lost forever.
The decisive turning point to proposing and achieving the status of Ecological Reserve of the Marbella dune system was the annual statistics that our Association has been presenting, in accordance and compliance with the guidelines laid down by the Regional Ministry of the Environment. This enormous annual work, together with eradicating invasive alien species as well as reforesting with indigenous plants, getting the members of the public involved, motivating volunteers, (doing the administrative work to have) having schoolchildren involved and documenting all this to the Junta has contributed to the recovery of the dunes and their environment.
Between 2004 and 2014 our Association organized innumerable eradication days thus producing verifiable and excellent statistics proving the enormous effort required to recover this natural habitat so mistreated for decades and all but forgotten.
In the subsequent years ProDunas developed a Dune Maintenance Master Plan which the Ministry of the Environment has adopted as theirs and which is in full force today.
ACTION SCHEDULE – ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
VALIDITY OF THE PLAN
The present plan will be valid for four years counting from the year the Ecological Reserve was established, and it will be flexible depending on the budgets available in each year for the different entities and organisms involved in its development.
We hope that Marbella Town Council will be conscious of the need for annual maintenance, with specific grubbing and rooting out – by hand – in the dune environments. This maintenance is aimed at achieving a positive and successful conservation of the Natural Heritage of Marbella, a heritage which is unique in the Province of Malaga.
Without this commitment to annual maintenance no reforestation with autochthonous shrubs should be undertaken. One more link in this chain of working together depends on the interrelation between the Regional Ministry of the Environment – which provides the indigenous seedlings at no cost to our Association (and therefore ensures that only healthy, indigenous plants are used) – and the subsequent connecting link of our Association with Marbella Town Council.
PRODUNAS’ MASTER PLAN – DUNE MAINTENANCE – WINTER 2017-2018
We cannot state often enough that annual maintenance work must be carried out. Unfortunately during 2 years (from the middle of 2015 to October 2017) no dune maintenance was done, so the shoots of the different invasive alien species (IAS) are getting vigorous and are making it difficult for the native flora to thrive and establish themselves. By not doing this necessary work at the proper time we are now faced with the possible need to uproot these re-growths using machinery such as backhoes and / or Caterpillar machinery. (Not only is it expensive to use this machinery, they compact the subsoil and cause serious damage from which the dune areas can take several years to recover.)
In our opinion: well-planned annual maintenance guarantees visible, long-lasting and economic results.
STATISTICS WINTER 2017 – RECORD OF DUNE MAINTENANCE
WORKS BY MARBELLA TOWN HALL – SUPERVISION BY PRO DUNAS MARBELLA
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The Association works tirelessly for the defence and preservation of the unique ecosystems that survive in the natural sand dune environments in the Province of Málaga; promotes the protection of native flora and small wildlife; promotes recovery, rehabilitation and conservation of interesting biodiversity of sand dunes areas in the municipality of Marbella.