Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Spain is currently in the process of revising its biodiversity strategy in light of the 2010 goals. Provisions of the revised strategy will be incorporated in the Law on Patrimony and Biodiversity, still in draft form and which will eventually replace the existing Law 4/1989 on the Conservation of Natural Spaces and Wild Flora and Fauna. Targets have also been developed to implement the European Natura 2000 Network recommendations. Initiatives to establish taxonomic inventories on terrestrial biodiversity began in 1998 and are ongoing. A next step will include the application of both EU biodiversity indicators and a body of specifically-developed indicators to monitoring the future trends of this biodiversity.
A number of conservation strategies have been developed and, in cases involving seriously endangered species such as the Iberian Lynx, Brown Bear, Iberian Imperial Eagle, Iberian Wolf, White-headed Duck and European Mink, the Spanish government encourages national coordination of actions. Action plans at both the national level, and within autonomous communities, have also been implemented to address issues related to invasive species. Spanish strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources, and legislation covering the commercialization of forest biodiversity, have also been adopted. Spain is addressing challenges to biodiversity from climate change and pollution through its fulfillment of the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol, and has mainstreamed targets in sectoral plans.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Since 1998, the number of protected areas has increased by 59% and the amount of protected surface by 53%. More than half of the protected areas have been designated as being of international importance, including 37 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and 63 RAMSAR wetlands.
The percentage of protected areas increased considerably following the transfer of executive and legislative powers to the autonomous communities in the 1980s, and the consequent promulgation of regional laws for nature conservation. However, inter-regional imbalances in the number of areas under protection continue to be a problem. Management plans have been implemented in accordance with the existing Law 4/1989 on the Conservation of Natural Spaces and Wild Flora and Fauna, as have directives of the European Natura 2000 Network. However, it is evident that other instruments to effectively manage protected areas are required.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Spain is currently witnessing a decline in traditional knowledge and associated genetic resources. This trend entails an enormous loss in agricultural and ethno-botanical heritage, as well as in the techniques involved in resource cultivation, usage, preparation and storage. Protection of traditional knowledge and the sustainable use of the resources of Spain’s ethnic and cultural groups are being promoted both through the national and sectoral biodiversity strategies and plans, as well as through the respective strategies of the autonomous communities that more competently address these issues. The recovery work done by both the Federal and regional governments of the drover routes and the promotion of the trashumancia is also relevant on this regard although still not enough. More than 2000 species are still used traditionally in continental Spain, many for medicinal and food purposes. The Ministry of Environment has carried out studies on topics, which include, among others, the valuation of traditional knowledge (including biodiversity components), the recuperation and maintenance of nomadic pastures for cattle and established ethno-botanical inventories. Also, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Spanish Strategy for International Cooperation with Indigenous Communities, has also been adopted.