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In 2004 a small group of Marbella residents was fired up by the need to fight to preserve and restore as much as possible of the last remaining sand dunes which had once formed a continuous line from Cabopino to Rio Real. The spark that set them off was their fight against the project of a “beach club” on the sand dunes of “La Adelfa” in Bahía de Marbella, a project which would have destroyed a full kilometre of the dunes.
800 signatures launched them to form a “non-profit” Association to act as the speaker between the public and various central, regional and local authorities. Thus the Asociación Pro Dunas – Playa La Adelfa – Bahía de Marbella was established on the 14th of September 2004.

From day one the Association operates under the motto: 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 bio-diversity of sand dunes areas in the municipality of Marbella.
The reconstruction and safeguarding of all sand dunes areas means an enhancement of the “Natural Values of Andalucia” and enriches the Natural Heritage of the Municipality of Marbella. Awareness Days in the coastal area foster public and governmental understanding.

Finally, at the end of 2015 the 12 years of constant dedication and hard work by the Association paid off. 9 sand dunes along 13km of the Costa del Sol coast were awarded the status of “Ecological Reserve – Marbella Dunes” by the Junta de Andalucía.
This Declaration of Protection is the result of all these years of intensive work by the Pro Dunas Association who restored and reforested these natural areas until each of the eco-systems shows its unique, special beauty. The richness of the native flora and fauna encourages one to study the more than 222.000m² of the Reserve.

Over all these years the Association has been getting information out there about the dunes and carrying out various maintenance works in the “Dunas de Artola” Natural Monument in Cabopino. This is a natural area of enormous beauty. In 2003 it was declared the “Natural Monument – Artola Dunes”. It covers an area of about 200,000m². Its interesting mobile (those closest to the beach) and fossil dunes encourages many scientists and university students to study the dune vegetation in depth. It houses a military defensive tower which dates from the period of the Arab domination of the region, the Torre Ladrones, which has been declared a “BIEN DE INTERÉS CULTURAL” (a Structure of Cultural Interest).

Our Association is proud to be taking part in looking after and protecting the legacy of the Natural Values of Andalucía which in this case cover about 500,000m² of dune systems in the Municipality of Marbella, and of defending these ecological values and making them known by our work in the local schools and in programs aimed at the general public.

Law 42/2007, 13th December

Extract and Summary of Law 42/2007, 13th December of the Natural Heritage and Biodiversity > Link pdf

The Flora and Fauna in the Ecological Reserve “Dunas de Marbella” and in the Natural Monument “Dunas de Artola”  is protected under Spanish Law. The specific law was published in the Official State Gazette:
LAW n° 42/2007 of 13th December on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity:


Andalucía still boats an exceptional natural Heritage and it is our responsibility to pass on these values and the need to preserve them for future generations. Alongside the formal environmental education taught in schools and other official circles, it is necessary to expose and acknowledge the reality of personal commitments, and constant hard work, of which our Association is a commendable example.The frequent collaboration and close ongoing dialogue between the Asociación Pro Dunas and the Town Hall of Marbella, the State Administration (via the Coastal Demarcations Authority for Andalucia-Mediterranean),the junta de Andalucia (Regional Government) (via the regional ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment) is a notorious example of good practice of modern Comprehensive Management Policies of Coastal Areas, that are being promoted by the European Union, and the Regional Government is striving to implement.

The Association is working tirelessly and unselfishly from the start on various fronts. The Association is based on effort and hard work and this has been maintained tenaciously since the beginning. Our seven core development areas are:

  • We work for the conserevation of native flora in all sand dune areas that have been rehabilitated.

  • We organize days for grubbing out invasive alien species, for cleaning up and/or for reforestation in the dunes.

  • We encourage and support environmental education through programs of “Dune Sponsorship by schoolchildren”.

  • We promote initiatives for our volunteers and for participation by members of the public.

  • We organize ecotourism days to draw attention to the enormous biodiversity that can be found in the dunes between Rio Real and Cabopino.

  • We look after and develop contacts with the official organisms, both technical and political which have this area of the Andalusian coast under their area of responsibility and competence.

  • We produce annual statistics to attest to the work that has been done.

  • We actively encourage the media to publish information about the need to preserve the ecosystems in the dune and marine environments.

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Asociación ProDunas Marbella

La Asociación trabaja incesantemente en defensa y preservación de los singulares ecosistemas aún existentes en los entornos naturales con dunas en la Provincia de Málaga; impulsa la protección de su flora autóctona y pequeña fauna silvestre; fomenta la recuperación, rehabilitación y conservación de la interesante biodiversidad en las zonas dunares del municipio de Marbella. 

+34 609 600 706