The Government orders the works at Cuna del Alma to be stopped
The Ministry of Ecological Transition of the Canary Islands Government has ordered the precautionary stoppage of the works at the Cuna del Alma construction site in Puertito de Adeje, in the south of Tenerife, due to the "imminent threat of environmental damage" on protected wild flora, after verifying the different claims made by the Salvar La Tejita association.
The Government of the Canary Islands has confirmed that Echium Triste, known as white viborina, is growing on the land where the project is being built, a protected species of flora that is listed in the Canaries Catalogue of Protected Species.
This plant has been identified in the area not only by volunteer scientists who have visited the site, but also by the regional Department of Biodiversity and the Natural Environment Protection Agency. In addition, as reported by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, "there is a formal recognition by the company itself of the presence of this plant and the interference of the works with it."
Law 4/2010, of June 4, of the Canary Islands Catalogue of Protected Species, includes the Echium Triste in annex IV within the category of Special Protection, reserved for those wild species that need “special attention in any part of the territory of the Canary Islands based on its scientific, ecological, cultural value or because of its uniqueness or rarity”.
The Ministry explained that in one of their last visits to an area of the construction site known as Los Goros, where no work was being carried out, it was possible to locate specimens of white viborina and hundreds of seedlings "because the recent rains at the end of September and early October have reactivated the seed bed on the ground''.
According to the Ministry, this not only confirms that there is a new population nucleus of this protected species, but also that its habitat has the necessary conditions for new specimens to be born.
This decision, to stop the works, has been communicated to all the affected parties, including the environmental group Salvar La Tejita, the Adeje City Council, and the Cabildo de Tenerife.
Viborina cannot be transplanted:
The Ministry of Ecological Transition has also issued a negative report in response to the request for relocation of this plant by the promoters of Cuna Del Alma. There are very few exceptions that allow this intervention and the construction of 420 luxury villas is not one of them.
Exceptions would only apply for adverse health effects, when there is a threat to the safety of people due to the plant, to prevent significant damage to crops, livestock, forests, fishing, or water quality, or for reasons of investigation or education.
The Regional Government has demanded detailed cartography of the entire Adeje General Plan area in the SO-6 'Puertito de Adeje' sector, including the areas where the works are being carried out, to find out the current distribution and potential of this new plant population nucleus.
Thus, it has also requested that an appropriate sampling methodology be designed that allows adequate monitoring of the white viborina, and its future evolution in the areas of potential expansion, in addition to other species outlined in the complaints received.
To carry out a "meticulous" protocol of action that guarantees the protection of the protected plants, the works have been halted, "taking into account that it is an extension of 500,000 square metres and that it is impossible to make an exhaustive analysis of all the land affected by the project with routine visits''.
Once the results of the studies are obtained, the promoter will have an obligation to make all the necessary modifications in the project that the General Directorate for the Fight against Climate Change considers necessary to preserve the specimens of threatened flora.
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