Press conference - MEPs against oil prospection and operations in the Canary Islands
Ezequiel Navió (Oficina de Acción Global, Cabildo de Lanzarote)
On August 13th of this year the Spanish minister of industry granted permission to the multinational oil company, Repsol to perform three exploratory deepwater ocean perforations at a distance of 50 kms from the coast of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, two the eight islands which make up the Canarian archipelago.
The Canary Islands is one of the largest marine areas in all of Europe and one of the most spectacular areas on the planet for its extraordinary marine biodiversity. These eight inhabited islands host four National parks and six world Biosphere Reserves declared so by The United Nations through UNESCO. Over 40% of the 7,493 square meters of its territory is protected under Spanish law as well as international conventions and legislation by the United Nations and the European Union. It forms an important part of the Natura 2000 Network of Sites of Community Importance (SCI), and Special Protection Areas for birds (SPAs). The Canarian archipelago has been recognized since 2005 by the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area. The islands also host three Marine reserves of interest to the fishing industry among them is La Graciosa, the largest area of its kind in Europe. La Graciosa is situated in the vicinity of a marine upwelling which acts as an authentic planetary “ocean lung”. The natural resources of these islands include 19,550 species and 693 subspecies of fauna as well as marine and land flora covering more then 150 Protected Nature Areas with the presence of endemic species, some, in danger of extinction.
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