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JUNE 2010


We gather the testimony of a large number of citizens that are worried about the continuous loss of coastal area that they perceive as they stroll along the beach – some 13 km of seashore- from Cabopino (Artola Natural Monument) to the Rio Real stream.

At the request of residents, we covered this stretch of coast, and much to our dismay, we confirmed that it is indeed true that this stretch of coast is loosing its beaches and with them, the Maritime-Terrestrial Public Domain. In very few areas is there still enough Maritime-Terrestrial Public Domain to be protected under the Coastal Laws. The Public Domain is only spared there were it is some metres above the seashore, otherwise it is blurred with the beaches.

We suggest an immediate and necessary action from all the Administrations for this regrettable and irreparable phenomenon in this stretch of the coast of Marbella, caused mainly by currents and storms, as well as by abusive construction practices in the past. According to our study, new criteria must be set for the greenbelt between the sea and the developed areas. It is a fact: the advance of the sea is unstoppable. A good example is the annual loss of 1-2m of dunes mass in Bahia de Marbella, which we denounce year after year, demanding a final solution to counteract the loss of beaches. It is just a matter of time before the sea starts to gobble up the first buildings because of this lack of prevention criteria in the past. New and urgent guidelines for the Coastal Laws are necessary to guarantee the survival of the seashore, such as the location of the protection parameter in reference to the Protection Easement, in areas where it is still possible to rectify this. There are still areas where it is perfectly feasible to apply the Urban Development Laws of Andalucia of the Area of Influence Regulations (>500m).

We plead for a change of strategy in the protection of the coast, which would mean that all town councils, in this case the Town hall of Marbella, and all Regional Ministries of the “Junta de Andalucia”, in this case the Provincial Department of the Regional Ministry for the Environment, should apply the actual meaning of the word “protection” to the Protection Easement. That is, that this easement should be the red strip of “no man’s land” and be kept virgin, with all the wild nature intact, just as the seaside used to be formerly, filled with dunes thicket and Mediterranean pine trees as also little mammals and birds of prey. The latest events and positive results in the dunes area of “El Barronal de la Morena” are proof that with the good will of everyone, these protection criteria can very well be applied.

Therefore, and with a responsible forward-looking approach, we insist that no more authorization or licences for building should be granted within the Protection Easement, be they social Clubs, swimming pools, tennis courts, paddle courts or other any other facilities. These facilities should be included within the development areas in the future.  In case there is a legal gap in the general application of the Coastal Laws, new demarcations should be drawn up, to counteract the loss of seaside areas and make room for new public spaces such as tracks and promenades.

We will applaud the involved Administrations that take our initiative in a positive light, as our proposal conveys the feelings of the citizens, who wish to see urgent action to save these sites of the coast and dunes areas where it is still possible to save them, and wish to see wooden fences being installed, as well as tracks that will heighten the protectionist value.

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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.