Target: Isabel Garcia Tejerina, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Environment
Goal: Protect Spain’s Doñana National Park from drying out and save its 4,000 animal species from losing their home.
Spain’s Doñana National Park, a wetlands national park that is home to thousands of animals and migratory birds, has lost 80 percent of its water supply and is in danger of drying out completely. Due to the effects of drainage, agriculture, and mining, the park may become the first ever national park in the European Union to be classified as “in danger” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Industrial activity has severely damaged the fragile environment and has destroyed its biodiversity. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are more than 1,000 illegal wells drilled in the wetlands by farmers. About 3,000 illegal farms also dot the land. Mines are being reopened in the area, including a mine that had one of Spain’s most horrific ecological disasters. The area is also considered a storage site for natural gas. As a result, the 209 square miles of sand dunes, streams, and lagoons have become a site of vast industrial expansion.
About 4,000 unique species call the wetlands home, including the rare Iberian lynx. Six million birds migrate to the area every year on their journey between Africa and Europe. Flamingos and wild horses also live in the area. In addition to supporting animals, the wetlands also support agriculture. It is Europe’s most productive rice field and 70 percent of the nation’s strawberries are grown there, supporting Spain’s economy.
However, more plans and proposals for industry are threatening the sustainability of the national park. There are talks of widening the river ways to make room for cargo ships. If nothing is done to prevent the drainage, mining, and illegal agriculture, the natural wonder will disappear, along with its species. Sign the petition to demand that Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Environment take action to protect this national park from further damage.
Dear Señora Tejerina,
Spain’s Doñana National Park is a natural wonder of continental Europe. Its dunes, streams, and lagoons are home to thousands of rare and unique species. It is a migratory spot for millions of birds travelling between Africa and Spain. It helps stimulate Spain’s economy due to its rice and strawberry fields.
However, industry is killing it. It has lost 80 percent of its natural water. Thousands of illegal farms and wells are draining the land, while mining is stripping it of its resources and threatening the natural species. Future plans of more mines, cargo ships, and the land’s status as a natural gas storage site only further threaten the fragile habitat and popular tourist spot. UNESCO has even threatened to list the park as “in danger,” which would be the first park in the EU to claim such as status.
I ask that you take action to stop further industry from destroying this natural wonder. Entire species will be lost if nothing is done to prevent damage, while Spain’s already struggling economy may also suffer from the loss of the rice and strawberry industry. Such a beautiful and serene landscape should never be polluted by cargo ships, construction, and well sites.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Rameylauren