The Federation of European Natural Parks, Europarc, which is currently developing a Plan of Action for European State-owned Natural Parks, said yesterday that the parks in the Balearics are “well behind” natural parks on the mainland. Representatives from across Spain have been meeting in Escorca to draw up a Natural Parks Plan which is to be presented at the forthcoming World Natural Parks Congress in South Africa in 2002. The meeting in Majorca is the fourth time representatives from all over Spain have gathered but the overall consensus of opinion is the Balearics' parks are lagging behind the rest of the country. The Albufera park on the outskirts of Alcudia is one of the most ecologically important areas of wetland in Europe and every year is the scene of investigations and experiments carried out by biologists and ecologists from some of the world's leading universities and institutions. Nevertheless, there appears to be room for improvement at the Albufera and other Balearics parks.