On the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2019, the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition (MITECO) has published the report “Collection and identification of ecological restoration actions in Spanish wetlands“.
The report includes restoration projects, improvement and/or adaptation of wetlands carried out in Spain during the past 20 years, promoted by both the public administrations and by civil society organizations.
Nearly 700 projects have been located and consulted, of which 78 have been selected in this first phase for their consideration and detailed description in the Report. This selection has been made because of the adjustment of the actions to the previously established concept of “ecological restoration” and “wetland”, but also because of the availability of sufficient information, which has been in many cases the most significant limiting factor. From this point of view, it is necessary to note that the Report is not yet complete and does not include all the restoration projects that can meet the selection criteria. Thus, it will be necessary to continue working, in later stages, to complete it.
In any case, this first phase already yields very interesting results: the execution of the 78 projects considered in the Report has led, at least, to an increase in the wetland area in Spain by 18,000 ha. This reveals the potential of the restoration of this type of ecosystem to stop the loss of biodiversity and to fulfill various national commitments under international agreements signed by the country. It is also important to note that the most frequent source of funding for the restoration of wetlands in Spain comes from public administrations (European, national, regional and local, in that order).
On the other hand, the actions considered, which are distributed throughout the national territory (15 Autonomous Communities), demonstrate the capacity for success of many actions of simple execution and low cost, the growing involvement of local administrations, and the high recognition they receive from the citizens.
The report is available in Spanish here.