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Dune Conservation


The Natural Heritage of Marbella needs us all

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Conservation work in the Dunes with ProDunas Marbella – 2021-2022

We are getting started on the dune conservation activities with a program for every week of 2021/2022. Every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon we will head for a different dune, and together with Fundatul and Asociación Valores we will work on dune conservation. We will also harvest seeds and berries from native shrubs when these are at their optimal state of ripeness.

 Our helpers will learn how to manage tools, together with the basics of good dune conservation, and how to manually grub out invasive alien species so that they do not overwhelm and displace the native dune vegetation.

For all those supporters who wish to help us as volunteers, please send an email to:  and/or

On our website:  we will upload details of which dune we will be working on.

We would really like to have new volunteers so please try out this experience – we are sure you will like it.

5 – 6 – 12 February, 2020
Ceip Vicente Aleixandre – Didactic teaching

The Vicente Aleixandre Secondary School in Marbella . . . does it perfectly!
The school asked ProDunas to present lectures, backed up with a PowerPoint presentation, to the young students so that they could better understand in the classroom what they would be doing out in the dunes. This interaction of questions and answers stimulated everyone’s interest and enables the following activities:

– A beach clean up event and a walk along the boardwalk in the Natural Monument “Dunas de Artola”
– Eradication of the Cape dandelion (Arctotheca calendula) which is already appearing in Artola
– To ensure they understood what they have learned in class and during the walk in the Natural Monument Artola, we had prepared
   a list with questions.

The days finished up with them drawing the Ladrones Tower. This was a new experience for the ProDunas team as well so thank you for the infectious enjoyment we shared with the young students.

13th December, 2019
THE BAHÍA DE MARBELLA SECONDARY SCHOOL has joined the dune conservation movement.

We are very honoured that this Secondary School wants to take part in dune conservation. Here in ProDunas we put a plan together for the eradication of the Highway Ice plant on the Triana beach, near the Dunas de Artola Natural Monument. In a short time the schoolchildren have eradicated more than 1.500 kg of this invasive plant.

First we took a short walk along the beach and as an added incentive the official from the Delegation of the Environment in Marbella Town Hall let us into the Lance de las Cañas Tower and gave us a guided tour of this unique building. This tower was built to defend the hinterland, the Guadalhorce valley. It was built in the second half of the 18th century and dates from the reign of Carlos III. The unique shape of the tower reminds one of an animal hoof.
It is a very interesting place to visit.

We hope the schoolchildren enjoyed getting involved in looking after and conserving the dune environments and that we can count on them again next year.

We thank the students, the teachers and the environment technician from Marbella Town Hall as well as the volunteers and our members for their interest and invaluable help on this interesting day.

Saturday 23rd November


8 employees from the FOC Design Company in Puerto Banús had their first chance to get their hands dirty in the Ecological Reserve- Dunes de Marbella.

 Having received prior authorization from the Ministry of Environment and under the guidance of ProDunas, these eight people made a start in reforestation with 20 pine saplings now happily growing in a dune environment.

 The day was a whole new experience for these volunteers. The dunes are now home to another native treasure that in a short time will contribute to increasing the green lung potential of the dunes. If we take good care of these and all the plants included in the reforestation process over the past 15 years, the improvement in the environmental quality of the area will become even more noticeable. The health of everyone in Marbella will benefit.

 Thank you to all the volunteers and to our members for their invaluable help and enthusiasm.

16th November 2019

Introduction to Volunteering with the International Hotel Management School Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, Marbella

With just one week of logistic work ProDunas organized, for Saturday 16th November, a volunteering macro-event with the participation of the School of High Hotel Management, Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, Marbella.

 52 students stepped into the Volunteering world by taking part in a clean-up and garbage collection event in the magnificent surroundings of the Natural Monument “Dunas de Artola” in Cabopino.

 They had more than 220,000 m² at their feet. They worked hard so that this jewel of nature could shine again, thanks to the altruistic dedication of these young aspiring entrepreneurs of many nationalities.

 It really was something to see how groups of volunteers “cleaned” the beach from top to bottom and east to west. This is a fantastic place, where people like to come and enjoy its beauty in peace and quiet. The volunteers from Les Roches left it once again free of the nasty waste which others had just dumped, with no thought about its consequences.

 With this event, ProDunas, has once again encouraged volunteer participation by members of the public. They showed by their example and firm commitment how to take care of and preserve an incomparable natural environment that exists so close to the centre of Marbella.

We would like to thank all those who took part: volunteers, teachers and our faithful, hardworking partners!

 Especially to Ms. Mª del Carmen Díaz García, General Director of Culture, Education and Heritage of Marbella; Francisco Gaona, Responsible for Beaches and Environment and Antonio Alguacil, Environment Technician.


15 July, 2019


TODAY WE MANAGED TO GET ALONG IN SPANISH AND IN ENGLISH, even though the 23 young people who are spending a week in the ANDALUCÍA LIONS CAMP come from 17 different countries: Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Republic of China, Slovak Republic, The Netherlands, Tunisia and the USA.

This was a great event organized by Lions Club International. Taking part were the Gibrálfaro Málaga Lions Club and the German speaking Marbella Lions Club.

For the first time in their lives these young people worked together with ProDunas to eradicate the Highway Ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis) that still survives in the Natural Monument “Dunas de Artola” in Cabopino. The photos show their great enthusiasm. In just over an hour they eradicated about 1,000 kg of the dreaded invasive species.

Even the blazing sun was not too much for them and, to encourage them, they could look forward to a cooling dip in the sea.
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part, the young volunteers and their companions alike.
See you soon!

3rd June, 2019

Environmental Sciences students from the UNIVERSITY OF ÁVILA visited us again and worked with us to eradicate new shoots of the dreaded Crimson Fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum), which is native to parts of Africa.

This plant was introduced into the south of Spain because of its appearance. It is very popular in private gardens as an ornamental plant. It can withstand heat and drought and grows very rapidly.

It establishes itself quickly and is a threat to the dune ecosystems and the native vegetation, which is why it is catalogued as highly invasive. It is included in the Spanish Catalogue of Invasive Alien Species by Royal Decree 630/2013, of 2nd August. ProDunas is carrying out rigorous controls in all dune environments and quickly eliminates all regrowth, before the plant gets a chance to spread.

We would like to thank the group from Ávila for their work today. They really contributed to ensure that the Crimson Fountaingrass cannot spread in the beautiful La Víbora-Laurel dune. Thank you!

15th December 2018


Three groups of us met up in the Real de Zaragoza dune under a splendid sun and with a delightful temperature. We were there to erase the tracks of cars that had got stuck in this dune during this summer. The owners thought, mistakenly, that they could park at will in this dune area which belongs to the Ecological Reserve and is totally protected.

We started with 6 people and then more and more friends arrived, some from the Westin La Quinta Resort and others, pupils and their parents from the Juan Ramón Jiménez Junior School, until we had 30 participants. We planted 20 pine trees donated to us by a Marbella resident and then everyone took on, with varying success, the roots of the new growth of the Giant Reeds!

This was a wonderful pre-Christmas event and we express our warm thanks to everyone who took part!

5TH JUNE 2018


The school children from BEN AL JATIB Secondary School in El Rincon de la Victoria gained a new experience thanks to the Club de Montaña (Mountain Club) which brought them to Marbella.

They got a friendly competition going among themselves and thus in a very short time they had filled the container prepared to collect the unwanted biomass for its subsequent disposal, with 3,260kg of invasive Highway Ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis).

A BEAUTIFUL AND VERY SATISFACTORY ENVIRONMENT DAY – getting almost 100 young people aware of and enthusiastic about the need to get involved in looking after the environment is a joy.
A big THANK YOU to everyone who took part!

5th JUNE 2018


“Angels’ Holidays” (Les Vacances des Anges) is one of the most popular programs – now in its second series – on French television. The way young participants can earn a vacation is by working for it. If anyone wants to take part in the fun and activities of the program they have to work to win it.

On 5th June, they have learned the hard way about dune conservation. We have teached them how to eradicate the invasive Highway Ice plant (Carpobrutus edulis) as well as how to dig out the roots (rhizomes) of the new growth of
giant reeds.

It have been quite an experience for them – and for us!

29th MAYO 2018


It only took 2 days for the two junior classes to feel the fun you can have out in the countryside, feeling close to nature while you are looking after it.

The photos show how they are in harmony with the dunes, even though for many of them it was the first time they had been in a dune ecosystem.

We were really taken with these young people who came to help and we hope to see them again in the coming school year.
Many thanks to you all.

26TH MAY 2018


We have to praise the school and the students who so altruistically organised an outdoor class in the dunes exclusively to have the school children be part of the conservation work on the dune ecosystems in Marbella.

Nearly 100 students of 5th grade in the Guadalpín Secondary School enjoyed their class but they also put in some seriously hard work eradicating different invasive species over a two-day period.
Our thanks to all – we are looking forward to welcoming you back again!

22 MAY 2018


The youngest members of the community were totally involved, helping their parents pick up cigarette butts from the beach at Real de Zaragoza, grubbing out and gathering up the roots of Cat’s Claw (Carpobrotus edulis) and digging out roots of the giant reed that had re-grown at the foot of the dune.

It was a beautiful and rewarding experience and we congratulate the grown-ups in charge of the Pinolivo Primary School for their involvement and commitment. Thank you all and we are looking forward to seeing you again.

5TH MAY 2018


A large group of volunteers from the Westin Hotel La Quinta Golf Resort & Spa came out to work with us on dune conservation. This was their introduction to the task of uprooting Giant Reed re-growth in the El Alicate dune.

They discovered that it takes hard physical work to control the outburst of invasive alien species.

As a symbolic gesture of reward we have extended an environmental certificate to them expressing our gratitude for the work they have done.

17th JUNE, 2017

We are joining up with SEO/Birdlife to organise a clean-up day to get rid of the rubbish other people have dumped in the El Barronal de la Morena, in Las Chapas-Elviria dune areas.

This dune environment is one of the most beautiful which remains along the coast to the east of Marbella. It still has a lot of native vegetation and therefore deserves to be pampered for a few hours.

This dune area is sponsored by the Alborán-School

Click to enlarge the photos


300 schoolchildren from the 4th, 5th and 6th grades in the Primary School system have begun to familiarise themselves with the plant and cultural wealth in the “Dunas de Artola” Natural Monument area. For the first time they helped eradicate the African Daisy (Arcthoteca calendula) which is an invasive alien species spreading widely along the pedestrian walkways.

They followed the instructions of the Pro Dunas instructor to the letter and, working together they were able to locate the invasive plants. Then to prevent future reseeding along the dunes, they packed them up in plastic bags for their subsequent disposal.

A big thank you to everyone who took part!.
They truly are nature lovers.

21st April 2016 – Natural Monument “Dunes of Artola”
22nd April 2016 – Natural Monument “Dunes of Artola”
25th April 2016 – Natural Monument “Dunes of Artola”


Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort in Elviria is very aware of its environment. For this reason a group of employees wanted to take part in an environment task. With a lot of enthusiasm and for the first time, they got up close and personal with nature in a dune.

The “El Arenal”, El Arenal-Costabella dune area was the best place to introduce them to the Natural Heritage of Marbella. In a short presentation we explained the problem caused by invasive plants and that Cat’s Claw (Carpobrotus edulis) is classified as an invasive species and therefore must be eradicated so that the dune flora can develop.

For the participants it was a unique experience and for Pro Dunas it was a source of great satisfaction. The presentation of an Environmental Certificate, signed by the Environmental Councilor from Marbella Town Hall underlined the importance of this volunteer work.

We wish to thank all those who took part!

DAYS OF ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THE ERADICATION OF INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES is a national and international online company which acts as a search engine for hotel reservations. It is one of the first companies to approach our Association to offer to work with us in environmental matters.

The first contact by a group of their employees which came specifically from Malaga to the Marbella dune area has been so positive that other groups from within the same company have been with us for several eradication of invasive alien species days.

Their dedication and awareness of the problem caused by the introduction of invasive plants in a fragile environment such as the dunes, was worth all the sweat and exhaustion they endured.

On the following dates different groups from this company worked with us to eradicate invasive alien species:

20th September 2014 – Dune area “El Barronal”, El Rosario
25th October 2014 – Dune area “La Víbora”, Las Chapas
8th November2014 – Dune area “La Víbora”, Las Chapas
22nd November2014 – Dune area “El Arenal”, El Arenal
7th November 2015 – Dune area “La Víbora”, Las Chapas
28th January 2016 – Dune area “La Víbora”, Las Chapas


A group of families together with their children (Juniors and Pre-Juniors) is working with Pro Dunas over a number of days on the Eradication of Highway Ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis) which is classified as an invasive alien species.

The young participants always have an enjoyable time learning from nature and by as we teach them about the flora and fauna of the dunes they begin to take part in this interesting façade of nature.

18th October 2014 – Dune area Real de Zaragoza
24th January 2015 – Dune area Real de Zaragoza
21st November 2015 – Dune area Real de Zaragoza
7th May 2016 – Dune area El Alicate


27 volunteers from Keller Williams Realty, Inc., partners in this, the world’s largest real estate franchise judging by the number of agents it employs (110.000 world wide), dedicates its worldwideRED DAY (Renew, Energize and Donate) celebrated every year on May 14; to working with organizations and causes in their Community which they deem worthy of their support.

This year they chose to dedicate this day to working in the dunes, eradicating the invasive alien species Highway Ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis) and cleaning up the

beautiful “Barronal de la Morena” dune.

The philosophy of this company in the real estate field is agent-led active training in the development of knowledge and technology so they can be leaders in the ever changing real estate industry.

Pro Dunas would like to thank them for all their hard work. The habitat of the wild and unique flora andfauna on this coast will benefit immensely from it for years to come.


A big welcome to a new group of helpers who came from Malaga to contribute to the work of eradicating the invasive alien species, Highway Ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis).

Every year they have a great day, parents and children, working together to clear tracts of dunes areas.
Wooden stakes interconnected by sisal rope at the Triana beach attracts the attention of visitors and thus helps to protect native flora that will sprout once the invasive plants are grubbed out.

Our thanks go out to the entire group of participants!

14th March, 2015 – Dune area Triana, Elviria
10th October, 2015 – Dune area Real de Zaragoza
24th April, 2016 – Dune area Real de Zaragoza


JULY 2011

We thank the Secondary Schools and their students for taking part in this awareness-raising work to help preserving the native flora of the Municipality of Marbella.

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Asociación ProDunas Marbella

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.