Workshop to update the SACs Management Plans of La Palma

Last 9th of May we participated in one of the workshops organized by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, through the Department of Sustainability of the coast and the sea, that will serve to update the management plans of the 24 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) of the Canary Islands.

We attended the workshop held in La Palma with the aim of working collectively contributing to the current situation of the ZECs Fuencaliente and Costa de Garafía. There, the most relevant impacts were put on the table in both areas, highlighting the most vulnerable spots and activities that require more attention when it comes to materialize the measures and regulations in the management plans.

Taller ZEC Garafía y Fuencaliente
Workshop held in La Palma to update the management plans for the SACs of Fuencaliente and Garafía.

More than a decade ago, the research group on Technologies, management and environmental biogeochemistry had participated, through the MARMAC project, in the study of the SAC of Fuencaliente, drawing the environmental values of the area, conducting an analysis SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and proposing a series of measures to help their conservation.

On this occasion, we could see that many of the proposed measures are still of interest to the area, such as the regulation of nautical activities, especially those that endanger the integrity of the caves in the area, one of the Community Interest Habitats for which the area is protected at European level.

Figure extracted from the Ministry resources for the Fuencaliente SAC, depicting the main activities and uses of the area, and the main pressures and threats (Source: MITECO).

On the other hand, bottlenose dolphins and loggerhead turtles are also species of Community Interest for which prevention measures were proposed regarding possible damage caused by collisions and interaction with marine debris, among others. The impacts of the aquaculture activity (mainly escapes), the presence of uncontrolled discharges or spills and marine debris, were some of the impacts reinforced in the working session.

The participation in this workshop has served the research group to achieve its tasks in the EcoTour project, which works for the proposal of conservation measures in coastal areas of high natural value, as is the case of Las Marciegas (La Aldea, Gran Canaria), and other selected areas in the Macaronesian Region.