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MAY 2010

THE DUNE “EL BARRONAL DE LA MORENA” – El Rosario/ Alicate Beach (Marbella)

September 2009 began with startling news for our Association. The dune “El Barronal de la Morena” was in danger of disappearing, which called for an immediate action. Our intervention and call to action were seconded and supported by several protectionist and political collectives. The overwhelming citizen participation and the numerous claims filed at the Administrative Authorities are proof of its effective worth.

Throughout the past months, numerous negotiations at the highest level and at various authorities have been necessary to prevent the total loss of this intact eco-system –  including an Early Day Motion submitted at the Andalusian Parliament in Seville- so today we have one eye in tears and the other with a smile. The preservation of this dune, a jewel, demanded a lot of good will and perseverance, diplomacy and tactfulness in all fields, and it required great ecological understanding from all parties involved, considering that this dune had been dealt a loosing hand.

Eventually, and thanks to the joint effort of everyone, we have achieved the impossible: Find a balance between the total disappearance and the partial survival of a nature spot that was doomed to be gobbled down by the yoke of concrete as it is located in land available for development. Therefore, we must congratulate the citizens and friends of the dunes for the great support they showed. Without them, the task would have been so much harder. Yet, we must also congratulate the parties in opposition, such as: the Town Hall of Marbella who have played a central role in the coordination of the different moods, and the legal coordination of the various interests; the developers, Coastal Demarcation Authorities and the Provincial Department for the Environment.

Together, we have succeeded in protecting the valuable dune of Barronal de la Morena at Alicate beach (Marbella) as a Natural Heritage with all the rights to thrive once more on a third (approximately 25,000 m2) of the land initially destined to be developed. A rather difficult symbiosis has been established – aiming at a peaceful coexistence between nature and concrete – and stretching to the maximum the Coastal Laws. All that we have achieved must now be ratified in an amendment of the Draft Master Plan within the General Town Planning Scheme (PGOU) to guarantee its perfect legality.

Once this goal has been achieved, the various restoration actions can be started. The first measure to be taken is to enclose the dune on the width with a wooden banister between the dune area to be protected and the coming development, to prevent any motorized transgression that would harm the fragile ecosystem. Wooden footbridges will be installed to ease the pedestrian access to the beach. Within the context of Integral Coastal Management, the eradication of invasive plants will be carried out in order to prevent the displacement of the existing indigenous flora, and wild flowers will be replanted to erase any traces of the damages caused by the heavy machinery last year.

The sad episode we endured and the quick citizen action should be a wake-up call to the Administrative Authorities to realize that the Costa del Sol must not loose another metre of green area on its coastal zone. We wish that any future initiatives for the preservation be unconditionally supported and defended by the Town Hall and other Administrative Authorities involved. The people and the nature-loving tourist will no doubt be most thankful.

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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.