Staff Reporter
THE international ecological watchdog Greenpeace has called on all participants at FITUR, the Interntaional Tourist Trade Fair which opens in Madrid today, to ensure that any development in the industry doesn't irretrievably damage the environment. Greenpeace were adamant yesterday, that the rich tapestry of coastal ecology should be taken into account by all those who are making a living out of the tourist industry. María José Caballero, head of the Greenpeace coastal campaign in Spain, commented: “The alarming rate at which natural coastline is being destroyed must be looked on seriously by all those who are taking part in the Tourism trade fair. We cannot continue to blindly mow down everything in our path along natural coastal areas for the sake of immediate gain. We already know what the consequences are: the deterioration and eventual disappearance of beaches and coastline.” According to the conservationists, on some areas of the coastline, the sitution is “decidely dangerous”, because “now that the natural balance of nature has been upset, there's a price to pay”. Greenpeace drew special attention to the case of the Balearics, which, in spite of having “serious coastal erosion problems and having “had to come to terms with disappearance of natural beaches” has modified environmental laws so that there are still demarcated areas where building can take place without further irreparable destruction”. In contrast, Greenpeace highlighted the case of the region of Valencia which they consider the area in Spain which has been most adversely hit by “coastal erosion”. They added “the coastline in that area continues to be filled with concrete, and a dozen new ports are to be created with the excuse of accommodating the Americas Cup sailing championship due to be held in the area in 2007. Such installations act like a trap for sand, barring its natural flow to the beaches”. According to Greenpeace, “the conservation of the seaboard is beneficial to everyone, especially for the tourist sector. Prevention, precaution and planning, currently absent from coastal management, must become the key factors guiding the future. Remaining natural areas are fragile and if we ride rough shod over them, it will be too late to reverse the tide.”Tourist trade fair called on to protect coastline


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