When you are of a certain age, you remember things like when they made us wear seat belts in the car, then the controversy was strong among those who, although they agreed with the need to have seat belts in the vehicle , they did not want its use to be mandatory, or like prohibiting the “freedom” of smoking inside bars, restaurants, meeting rooms, doctor’s offices… or like restricting vehicle traffic in population centers, regulate urban traffic at 30 or reduce the speed on all kinds of roads (although the latter, like other measures of common sense, are questioned here by unique characters from our Mallorcan south who have improved their future in politics thanks to their constituents). And so we could continue reviewing the history of urban planning, tourism, hunting or, and especially, that of the difficult and almost failed struggle for the defense of the territory, the natural environment and biodiversity.
Protected natural spaces in Mallorca
In Mallorca there are different types of protected natural areas. For example, the first that was declared, if I’m not mistaken, was that of s’Albufera d’Alcúdia, in 1988. I can still remember it as an exclusive place of intensive and uncontrolled hunting use, as I also remember before of his statement, having collaborated in extinguishing a fire in a forest in the dune area that separates this place from the sea. Then while they were doing the extinguishing tasks, an elderly gentleman approached us and asked us what we were doing. Surprised by the kind of question, we answered that by putting out the fire. Well, you don’t have to, soon all this will be cement, they have to build a lot of hotels and apartments all along the strip. And so it was, so it has been.
But well, the fact is that in one way or another, they are forced by the regulations set by the European directives in this regard, or by the pressure of the struggle of environmentalists, since then until now with a lot of effort and losing sheets with every wash, today Cabrera, Mondragó, Es Trenc, Parc de Llevant, Serra de Tramuntana, sa Dragonera are protected spaces….just as many others are not, speaking of Mallorca.
This protection has prevented the most serious consequences (no offense to the animals) of the development of human freedom at the expense of nature from being worse, especially in the field of urban planning and the tourist industry. This is true, but almost everything remains to be done in terms of the effectiveness and actual verification of this protection in many other areas.
The La Mola restaurant controversy
These days the people in charge of the Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt in Matadepera together with the owner of the place, the Diputació de Barcelona, have taken a decision that has generated a lot of controversy among the nearly two hundred thousand people who climb La Mola every year, for the decision to definitively close a restaurant located at its peak, which has been run by the same family for more than 60 years, all in order to be able to reduce the human pressure on its surroundings. The authority of the protected area argues, in addition to conservationist reasons, that there are already around seventy other restaurants in the area and that they have simply taken seriously the protection and care of the environment, which has deteriorated greatly due to the aforementioned human pressure It was good to have space here to analyze the reasons for each other. However, I see similarities with the important, necessary, controversial changes that I listed at the beginning of the article, and which in this case have to do with the natural protection of the environment.
The need to suppress some businesses within protected natural areas
The Council of Mallorca, the now-defunct Department of the Environment, its technicians and politicians if they assessed here, I highly doubt they ever will, the need to suppress depending on what type of businesses inside protected natural areas as the only route analyzed and studied to be able to achieve its protection and conservation… let’s imagine for a moment that once the Castell d’Alaró has been bought, the authority of the protected area decides to remove the restaurant that is at the top and to regulate and reduce the influx of visitors to the rock, not only in its access on foot, but also in that of vehicular traffic from the beginning of its access road. We could list many others of places related to restaurants, hotels, located within protected natural spaces where their presence implies an avalanche of vehicles, also coaches, with their necessary parking space and accompanied by a human pressure that specific in multiple activities harmful to the conservation of the environment, of its biodiversity. Climbing, running, drone flights, dogs, bicycles off the rope, camping, fire, noise… even if it is in small percentages of offenders, their impacts all together when we are too much in a sensitive environment, confined, surrounded, is very strong. There are many bioindicators that warn us of this and the conditions and actions to remedy it have never been so adverse reviewing the way of proceeding of our rulers, those of the past and even worse those of now.