A hundred people attended the presentation conference of LIFE-Salinas, the project that will improve the conservation of habitats and waterfowl in Las Salinas de San Pedro del Pinatar
Last Tuesday, 5 February, Francisco Esquembre, Vice Chancellor of Transfer and Research at the University of Murcia, presented the project: “Conservación de los hábitats y aves acuáticas in SPA and SCI ES0000175 Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar”, coordinated by Salinera Española S.A. and Gustavo Ballesteros, Doctor in Geography and Professor at the University of Murcia. Among the attendants were also Consuelo Rosauro (General Director of the Natural Environment), Visitación Martínez (Mayor of San Pedro del Pinatar) and Pedro García (Director of ANSE).
As a partner of the Project, Mae d’agua, Lda., collaborates with its wide experience in different aspects regarding salt production in Portugal. This environmental consultancy not only protects the natural and cultural heritage related to salt landscapes and habitats, but it also works in the social context of salt production.
The event was also attended by members of the University of Murcia, workers at the Information Service of Las Salinas de San Pedro del Pinatar along with the general public.
During the presentation conferences, each partner explained which and how will the actions be developed throughout the 4-year project. With a total budget of 1.8 million euros, some of the future interventions are: installation of fences on La Llana beach to prevent erosion in the dune cord, adequacy of motes with salt substratum, plantation with native species, removal of exotic species, biological monitoring program and an intense campaign of awareness through environmental education and volunteering. The habitat of the Fartet fish, an endangered endemic species, will be also improved.
It is worth highlighting the presence of two experts to the conference. Firstly, Diyana Kostovska, from the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation; she explained the conservation measures adopted in recent years in a key area in the bird migration: the salty coastal lake of Atanasovo (Bulgaria). The project “Salt of Life” was a finalist for the Natura 2000 communication awards in 2018 due to its great repercussion on the local population, volunteers and young people through events such as sports activities, carnivals, routes, etc.
To close the conference, Derek Jackson, Professor of Coastal Geomorphology at the University of Ulster (Ireland), explained how coastal morphodynamics and geomorphology change on various scales of time and space in relation to climate change, rising sea levels and coastal storms worldwide. Moreover, his work examines the processes of wind and airflow modeling not only on Earth but also on Mars.
This project, jointly financed by the European Union’s LIFE instrument, has already a Territory Custody agreement between its coordinator, Salinera Española, and ANSE. The main purpose of this agreement is to ensure that conservation actions for waterbirds (such as Audouin’s gull and other wading birds) and for the dune habitats of the salt steppes and Juniperus forests, continue once the project has been completed. This will guarantee that conservation actions are developed and maintained in Las Salinas de San Pedro del Pinatar for, at least, 14 years.