Andratx, where there has been heavy coastal development.

25-07-2018Michel's

Greenpeace say that the deterioration of the landscape in the Balearics increased by a "worrying" 65% between 2005 and 2014 and this affected almost 11,000 hectares of land, mainly because of development.

Despite this increase, the percentage of coastal area in the Balearics which has been "degraded" through development is the second lowest among Spanish regions with coastlines. This is 7.2%. The pressure on coastal areas grew because of a development boom in the 1980s, but this pressure has been far moderate since then.

A Greenpeace report in association with the Sustainability Observatory describes as encouraging the fact that a third of coastal land that could have been developed has not been. It is particularly encouraging because of the dependence on tourism and residential building in the Balearics.

At national level, 80% of environmental resources provided by Spain's coasts are described as being "in recession". Over the past thirty years, and following the introduction of the 1988 Coasts Law, the amount of coast that has been developed has more than doubled - from 240,000 to 530,000 hectares. This means that 13.1% has been developed, while just two per cent of the country's interior has been developed.

Pilar Marcos of Greenpeace explains that the 1988 law and a second piece of legislation - the Land Law from twenty years ago - gave town halls a great deal of power to allow coastal development. She regrets that in the most recent state budget, only seven per cent of spending on the coasts was for conservation.

The Greenpeace 65% claim has been queried, the argument being that different land planning regulations would have made possible a maximum of only some ten per cent increased development.