The national Minister for the Environment, Cristina Narbona, announced yesterday that three autonomous regions, the Balearics; Andalucia; and Aragon; will take over the management of five national parks from June 1. After a meeting of the Park Network council, the Minister said that the procedures to transfer the management of the parks of Cabrera island in the Balearics and Ordesa and Monteperdido in Aragon are “very advanced” and those for the transfer of Doñana and Sierra Nevada in Andalucia are “complete”. The agreement between the Government and Andalucia is “now complete” after “some questions in relation to State owned fincas” had been resolved. So “it is most probable that Doñana and Sierra Nevada will be the first two parks to be transferred”. As for the rest of the autonomous regions, the Minister said that, in the case of the Canaries, the transfer “will possibly include a reordering of the management between the Canary Islands government and the councils on each island”. She explained that in Castilla-La Mancha “procedures have not yet begun because the autonomous region has still not asked for these meetings”.
She said that Madrid and Castilla and Leon “are working on the definition of the Guadarrama National Park and are awaiting approval of the Management Plan for Natural Resources from all communities. The National Parks bill, which was debated in yesterday's meeting, is “a draft bill which will take away decisions from the Constitutional Court and make a clear distinction between the management which corresponds to the autonomous regions and the plans made by the National Parks group, and the basic criteria by which a park can be considered a National Park”.