Salburua: when a park becomes the main pride of a city
- Ataria Interpretation Centre is visited annually by over 150,000 people
Cristina Yuste -EFEverde. Desiccated centuries ago for processing field cultivation and recovered in the nineties “for all vitorianos”Salburua is a wetland teeming biodiversity; It is the pride of a city that boasts titles' green’ and does not understand without star leisure park.
Of the 30,000 hectares occupied by the municipality of Vitoria, Only 6,000 belong to the city; the rest is agricultural land, livestock and, especially, industrial, the latter the main beneficiary of the recovery of the wetland, whose origin is the call Quaternary aquifer, A large bag of groundwater that spans much of the Alava plain.
“When the area dried began successive episodes of flooding”, He has told Efe the delegate of SEO / BirdLife in the Basque Country, Ramón Elósegui; “before, they made of spring gaps, offset large floods, causing the water to dam and gradually releasing out”.
Thus, to reconcile the social, natural and recreational use of Salburua protection of these industrial areas was decided to return its function and appearance to the wetland, and that, far from being an obstacle, was a stimulus for economic development of the city, Elósegui explained.
“The periphery of Vitoria, like all cities, tended to degrade easily, occupied by shanties and illegal dumps -HA explained, so that the city thought that if all urban parks joined by a large belt that would end degradation”.
Today, said the delegate of SEO / BirdLife, “Vitoria and Euskadi all feel proud to have this here, we are very popular, we are the Green Capital, we have international recognition and the effort to reconcile urban development and environmental protection has been enormous”.
Ramón Elosegui is based in Ataria, the center of interpretation of the Salburua wetlands, which receives each year ae more than 150,000 people who come interested in the itineraries that surround and connect the lakes, by plant species, the bellowing deer and, above all, by birds.
And that Salburua, like any wetland is within the migratory route of moving from central and northern Europe to their wintering sites in southern and use it as a rest area and replacement of forces.
Ataria own center has a terrace to watch birds a few meters, but the park has two other observatories gaps Arcaute and Betoño from which to enjoy “not only glider birds or large migratory, also small birds such as aquatic warbler”, Said Elósegui.
In the Natura 2000 network
Today, with an area of 206 hectares, is one of the most important wetlands in Europe and its nine kilometers of roads make it the most significant natural area within the so-called 'Green Ring’ Vitoria.
On the list of wetlands of the Ramsar Convention, is Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) of the European network Natura 2000, once they have been approved management measures after overcoming the process of exposure public.
The Basque Country is protected under the 'umbrella’ European 25 percent of its territory, but there is still a lack of knowledge to this figure and the majority of the population “It does not perceive its advantages and disadvantages intuits itself”He has recognized Ramón Elósegui.
“We have used very little teaching languages to sell the idea of Natura he assures nor regional governments have supported the people who are part of it, not so much compensation, but with incentives”.
To Elósegui, it is essential to make these people feel proud and be paid by Natura; “we need social, environmental education and awareness especially, is a cultural problem”.
In this sense, it has made self-criticism by stating that conservation organizations “we have not demonstrably committed to make this”.
The Natura 2000 network is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world; the main instrument for biodiversity conservation of the European Union; a set of deeply intervened and humanised, but essential for the conservation of many species and habitats spaces.