surinenglish

Up to 8,000 green jobs could be created with new national park, says Junta

Team photo of the meeting held at the Torre Vigía watchtower in the mountain village of Yunquera. SARA SALAS
Team photo of the meeting held at the Torre Vigía watchtower in the mountain village of Yunquera. SARA SALAS
  • The mayors of the 14 places affected by the Sierra de las Nieves National Park status met in Yunquera this week

The newly born Sierra de las Nieves National Park has taken its first steps after the Senate gave the final green light last month.

The new status will bring not just extra environmental protection for this range of mountains inland from the Costa behind Marbella, but also a big economic boost.

The Junta de Andalucía regional government, which is responsible for managing the park, believes some 8,000 jobs could be created long term.

Regional president Juanma Moreno was in the new national park this week and met with the mayors of the 14 municipalities the park will have an impact on. The meeting was held in the village of Yunquera which was chosen as the headquarters of the park.

"We're seeing a real pull effect: more firms are interested in the area and want to set up in it, especially in ecotourism, which is one of the big hopes for staving off rural depopulation," Moreno said.

The municipalities in the main park zone or on its borders are: El Burgo, Yunquera, Tolox, Monda, Istán, Benahavís, Parauta, Ronda, Alozaina, Casarabonela, Guaro, Igualeja, Ojén and Serrato.

"This has just started, we have to invest a lot of time and effort," added Moreno.

The aim is to multiply the number of visitors ten times over in seven years, although firstly the administrative infrastructure of the park needs to be set up.