According to Greenpeace, Spain is destryoing 7.7 hectares of natural coastline a day after having destroyed over 50,000 hectares of coastline between 1987 and 2005.
The data was released Friday by the environmental protection group Greenpeace at a press conference held in Madrid. The President of Greenpeace Spain said that “the most serious is that this trend is continuing.”
The most affected areas according to Greenpeace include areas such as Benidorm, Marbella, Valencia and Cantabria. The report also condemned the huge El Algarrobico hotel that was built illegally back in 2005 and 2006 in a protected park in Cabo de Gata in the south. The hotel is still standing despite a demolition order issued by the courts.
Greenpeace urged the application and reinforcement of local laws that protect the coastlines, adding that the overbuilding has led to a serious degradation of water quality in the affected regions and while municipalities were still planning to build more housing, hotels and marinas, “the real luxury is not a five star hotel but an unspoilt beach.”
Some of the figures presented by Greenpeace speak for themselves:
- The equivalent surface of 8 football fields per day have been destroyed in Spain over the past 20 years.
- In some communities more than 75% of the land bordering the sea are urban or developed and nearly 25% of coastal shoreline is artificial.
- In 2004, the budget needed to maintain the tourism industry infrastructure (airports, ports, hotels, beaches) exceeded its revenues by 25 per cent.
- In 2010, the European Court has sentenced Spain for failing to comply with EU standards on the quality of bathing waters.
- More than 300 people, including politicians and businessmen, will be tried in 2010 for corruption or influence peddling.
The report included before and after photos of places such as Marbella from when it was still a fishing village.
See the photos here.
Photo credits: eltito.