The Balearic government will ask the central ministry of the environment to withdraw its paper on the Spanish Strategy for Sustainable Development, presented early last December. This was announced by government leader Francesc Antich at the opening of the Forum for Sustainability in the Balearics, organised to mark the tenth anniversary of the Tierra de Rio summit. He told the 100 people attending the Forum that the document had been drawn up without consulting the regions, and without taking into account the physical limits imposed by the environment. He added that it did not take into consideration insularity, and did not explain how the strategy was to be carried out. He claimed that the ministry, headed by former Balearic leader Jaume Matas, compiled the document hurriedly, to have something to present to the European Union and the Johannesburg summit. Antich said in his speech that the Balearic government “had been concerned about the protection of land and natural resources for some time, and proposed achieving prosperity and welfare through a balance between human activity and nature. The government leader also said that the final aim of the Forum was to draw up a sustainability plan for the Balearics for the next ten years. “Failure to protect nature is dearer than the cost of protection,” he said. He also said that participation by the man in the street was essential. The Forum is being held in Sa Nostra's cultural centre and is attended by leading international experts including Ian Moffatt of Stirling University.

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