24 septiembre 2001

Document of support

Document of support of the demands of the Platform in Defense of the Malpaís de Güímar and the Camino de El Socorro.

Traducción: Miguel Fdez del Castillo

The Malpaís de Güímar or Badland of Güímar, in the coast of the Valley of Güímar, in the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands is one of the most representative examples of the subhistoric volcanic landscape of the island: a costal piece of land of lavas and some adjacent volcanic cones (the Mountain of El Socorro or Montaña Grande, Montaña de los Guirres, Morras del Corcho) enriched by a band of sand that is carried by the wind from the nearby Beach of la Entrada and that has covered a part of the lava fields. On the lavas we can notice a range of ecosystems, in equilibrium though fragile, among which stands out a magnificent cardonal tabaibal, a type of vegetation dominated by different species of Euphorbias. Also, in the sandy area an outstanding vegetation has set its roots and a rich fauna, specially of insects, as well. Because of its biodiversity, with a high number of species in tis flora and fauna which are endemic or autoctonous, the Malpaís of güimar has great scientific interest.

The Camino of El Socorro, or Path of El Socorro unites the hamlet of El Socorro and the Chimisay Beach with the town of Güimar. It goes along the edge of the Malpaís, and dates back to prehispanic times, when it it was used as a path for leading the cattle to different pastures. Its age could date back some 3.000 years, at the time of the settlement of the first Barbaric inhabitants in what would later be the Menceyato or kingdom- of Güímar.Since aproximately the end of the XIVth century the Camino or Path- of El Socorro is linked with the image of the Madonna of Candelaria that appeared at the Chimisay Beach thus becoming the scenery for the oldest pilgrimage of The Canaries, the Transportation of the Madonna of El Socorro which still today, maintaining its authenticity, is one of the main features of identity of the inhabitants of the Valley.

These days the Council, the islands central administration known as the Cabido of Tenerife and the Industrial Estate of the Valley of Güímar have plans for industrially develop parts of the Malpaís, cutting the Path of El Socorro and affecting the landscape s beauty, and even putting in danger the Path of El Socorro with projects that could erase its ancient route and put in danger the environmental equilibrium of the Malpaís with consequences difficult to forsee for the area which is now legally protected.

There are various reasons for protecting the Malpaís and the Path as well. Let s just mention the most important:

  • Scientific: geological interest; ecosystems with great richness in species of flora and fauna, and with species that are locally endemic; educational interest; native archaelogical sites.
  • Landscape conservation: alteration of the Güimar Valley's scenery in its only not developed area.
  • Ecological: the area declared as of Ecological Sentivity Area by the Canarian Law of Natural Protected Areas, and which now is projected for industrial development is a buffer zone that separetes the legally protected part of the Malpaís from industrial activities (noises, smoke, etc) and by enlarging the whole preserved site helps the ecosystems in their self maintenance.
  • Cultural: historic imprtance and as a feature of local identity of the Path of El Socorro and the Transportation of the Madonna.
  • Economic: value of the area for future generations for its environmental value and its landscape as part of a strategy of local development; multiple alternatives of use that are reversible and compatible with the sites values.

For all this, the signatory of this document, supporting the Platform in Defense of the Malpaís of Güímar and the Camino, or Path of El Socorro signs the following demands:

1.- We ask the Council of Güímar to declare in its General Plan for Urban Planning as Rural Protected Land the whole existing area between the present Natural Reserve and the Path of El Socorro, in the North and the Puertito de Güímar in the South.

2.- Once the Council has complied with the previous point we ask this Council to decide unanimously to demand before the Parliament of The Canary Islands, and to process before this institution, the enlargement of the Special Natural Reserve so as to comprise the whole Malpaís of Güímar, from the Camino del Socorro to the Puertito; and we ask the Government of The Canary Islands to execute this enlargement.

3.- We ask the Cabildo of Tenerife to conclude the declaration as Good of Cultural Interest for the Camino of El Socorro; thus approving a file that has been put forward by this Town and its Council.

4.- We demand the Government of The Canary Islands, the Cabildo of Tenerife, the Council of Güímar and the European Union to restore the damages suffered for decades by the environment and the landscape of the Montaña Grande and the Malpaís; and that the hamlet of El Socorro is furnished with the necessary infrastructure.

5.- We support the Popular Legislative Initiative put forward for the enlargement of the present Special Nature Reserve to include the whole Malpaís de Güímar and the adjacent part of the Camino del Socorro.

6.- Last but not least we demand the enforcement of the present laws for the protection of the environment in the Industrial Estate of the Valley of Güímar to all the Canarian administrations involved.


No hay comentarios: