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25 th of October 2023 – A great day of exchanging ideas and of learning at the Coastal Conservation Day!

We would like to express our deep gratitude for the invitation to ProDunas Marbella to take part as Speaker in this very significant event.

On 25th October we had the honour of sharing our successful experiences and our perspectives for the conservation of the Marbella coastline.

The conference, organized by the University of Malaga School of Architecture and the ETC (European Topic Center), invited the Andalusian Coastal Ministry (MITERD) , the Faculty of Tourism of the University of Malaga, ProDunas Marbella, WWF-Spain and the University of Granada. All contributed to an enriching session where measures for the effective conservation of the Spanish coast were addressed.

ProDunas Marbella has been committed to the conservation of the Marbella coastline for years, and this opportunity allowed us to share our passion and knowledge with a diverse and engaged audience.

We want to express our gratitude to all attendees, organizers and co-workers for making this event possible. We will continue to work tirelessly for the conservation of our beaches and dunes, and we hope that this day will serve as a catalyst for future initiatives and actions that strengthen the protection of our precious coastal environment.

Link to the Agenda – Link

Link to the Summary – Link

April 2023 – Long-term assessment of the effectiveness of coastal protection regulations on the conservation of natural habitats in Spain

on the conservation of natural habitats in Spain


Spain has undergone rapid socioeconomic development in the past three decades. This has been linked to massive residential and infrastructural development based on a short-term, profitable and resource-intensive consuming model. As a result, large amounts of agricultural, natural and semi-natural soils have been lost to artificial areas, especially around main cities and on the coast.

In this study, we assessed the effectiveness of the Spanish Shores Act at preventing land development in two biogeographical regions and three administrative scales between 1988 and 2020 using a BACI design and remote sensing data.

We also analysed the combined effect of other regulations to prevent land development on the coast. The Shores Act was effective in reducing land development although moderate to substantial land development occurred in the zones affected by the Law, especially in the Mediterranean region. Adding other sectoral regulations to the Shores Act notably and consistently reduced land development across regions. Among them, cumulative protected area (PA) regulations were most effective in reducing coastal land development.

The use of satellite images, especially Sentinel 2A MSI data within a BACI design, proved a useful method for assessing the effectiveness of fine-scale objectives of environmental policies such as the Shores Act.

Link to the pdf > Link

Coautor: Dr. David Rodríguez-Rodríguez

European Topic Centre – University of Malaga

Edificio de Investigación Ada Byron

C/ Arquitecto Francisco Peñalosa s/n – 29010 Malaga, Spain

March 12, 2021
European Thematic Centre of the University of Malaga (ETC-UMA)
Virtual meeting on defensive protection of the coast of the province of Malaga

Sponsoring a Moratorium on further construction on the coast of the province of Malaga, so that the natural and semi-natural areas adjudged to be of high-worth still remaining can be identified and protected and / or restored before urban planning or infrastructure destroys them.

a) – Identify a series of successful or potentially effective practices for the protection of the undeveloped stretches of coast of the province of Malaga, its adaptation to CC and / or ecological restoration.

b) – Promote synergies and networking of the organisations involved in coastal protection.

Summary of the meeting.  Cases nº 1 – 5 Points and Proposals  –  Link a pdf  (We regret, only in Spanish)

Participants and Guests –  Link to Participants and Guests (We regret, only in Spanish)


Brief Introduction by ProDunas Marbella (Susanne Stamm Joho) and Manuel Romero González:

Summarising, ProDunas Marbella informs the attendees that in 2004 the ProDunas Association had the approval of all the Public Administrations. The Territorial Delegate of the Junta de Andalucía convened a joint meeting with the Head of the Demarcation of the Mediterranean-Andalusian Coasts, Malaga Development and Urban Planning. An essential requirement they set us was to engage with the owners of all the plots bordering on the sea (Dominio Público Marítimo Terrestre – DPMT) and have them transfer these to the State. Next, Demarcation of Coasts firmly defined the eastern boundaries of the Municipality of Marbella.

The work of a group must be strong in its conviction to protect the coastline and its natural heritage, and the Junta de Andalusia must express its firm support for this aim and provide a protection framework for it. In 2014, our Association sponsored a protection framework for all the dune ecosystems lying between Marbella and Cabopino, in the formula of the Marbella Dunes-Ecological Reserve.

Manuel Romero explained the basic idea behind the establishment of the Ecological Reserve on the coast of the province of Malaga. Ours is the only province in Andalusia to have the Ecological Reserve formula established. It is a formula that is foreseen in the 8/2003 Law of the Protection of Wild Flora and Fauna. In Article 32 it refers precisely to the fundamental objective of the conservation of biodiversity resources, as long as these are compatible with previously existing practices. The towns along the coast have a lot to say about their shared history of the coast, and obviously there is a series of established practices, of both economic and social importance which must be taken into account.

It was decided from the beginning to involve Marbella Town Hall with the ER-Dunas de Marbella with its approximately 22 hectares and the one just getting started in Manilva, ER-Playa de Manilva, with approximately 48 hectares. Getting the Towns motivated meant that both the political and urban departments should back the process. Then to handle the coastal issue, Demarcation of Coasts and the Territorial Delegation for the Environment in Malaga are in charge of the declaration. The Technical Plan is established by the Law and has been adopted by the Town Hall and the Territorial Delegation. This establishes the managment strategy for organising the areas involved.

There are parallels with the Plan for the Use and Management of Protected Natural Spaces which goes much deeper than this, but Malaga has taken on board the management and planning of the Ecological Reserve areas based on it, and each of agencies was assigned the appropriate investment management.

What is the current situation? In relation to Marbella, which is our main area of concern, investments have been made by the Town Hall. Although the dunes in Marbella are broken up different areas, the five habitats of Community Interest are very valuable – there are 83 species of vertebrates and a large number of very interesting plant species, such as the Sabina. Manilva is lucky that its dunes are in an unbroken.

There are basically two problems: On the one hand there is coastal erosion and on the other there is the damage caused by humans: building, dumping of rubble, expansion of alien invasive plant species and the trampling resulting from visitors walking all over these very ecologically sensitive areas.

What has been achieved? The Town Hall takes on the obligation of making a series of investments in the area of conservation: control of visitors, stopping the trampling on the dunes, creating new car parks and, by means of signs, highlight where the protected natural areas start and end.

To sum up, the Ecological Reserve has much to offer in coastal conservation, but only in those areas where this has been previously recognized – the entire coastline will not be declared an Ecological Reserve. The support of all the Administrations, local, regional and national is essential.

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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.