Wetland Planning: Current Problems and Environmental Management Proposals at Supra-Municipal Scale (Spanish Mediterranean Coast)

Autores UPV
Revista Water


The policies that define the use and management of wetlands in Spain have undergone tremendous changes in recent decades. During the period of 1950¿1980, Land Reform Plans promoted filling and draining of these areas for agricultural use. In 1986, with the incorporation of Spain to the European Union (EU), there was a sudden change of direction in these policies, which, thereafter, pursued restoring and protecting these ecosystems. This change, combined with increasing urban development and infrastructure pressures (e.g., roads, golf courses, etc.), creates a conflict of uses which complicates the management of these ecosystems by local governments. This study analyzes the effectiveness of policies and management tools of important coastal wetlands at the local scale in the Valencian Community (Western Mediterranean Sea) using a strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats (SWOT) methodology. A supra-municipal model of environmental planning is proposed to enable consistent management at a regional scale. This model enhances local government¿s effectiveness and it can be applied in other areas with similar problems.