by Staff Reporter
Photo: Joan Torres
THE protection of natural spaces depends on how profitable they are, according to Miquel Angel Borràs, head of the Council of Majorca's environment department.which combines economic activities with the environment to make the areas profitable but at the same time preserve their beauty. He was speaking at the presentation of a book on economic activities in protected areas (Les Activitats Econòmiques en els Espais Protegits).
Borràs said it was necessary to put hypocrisy to one side and open a social debate
He said that if there were no return on the spaces, they would reach a stage when they had no protection. He added that his department would try to develop a policy on the function of natural spaces. “Up to now,” he said, “the protected areas have been used for the benefit of a few people.” In order to prevent this, he said, there had to be a social pact to preserve the land. Bartomeu Calafell, the department's director, said that the public administration is not a bottomless well and private ownership had to be offered the possibility of making money from the natural spaces, thus combining their preservation with an improvement to the owners' economies. Angel Pomar, co-author of the book and secretary of the Institute of Ecological Studies, said economic activities in natural spaces had to be boosted because their preservation depended on them. Activities could include hunting or plant and mushroom gathering, he said, and the economy should be incorporated as just another variable such as vegetation or natural resources.

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