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A digital image of the proposed 'urban forest' on the Almayate and Torre del Mar sides of the River Vélez. SUR
Positive response to Costa del Sol ‘urban forest’ proposal
Environment

Positive response to Costa del Sol ‘urban forest’ proposal

The suggestion put forward by resident and environmental groups in Vélez-Málaga to protect the wetland area at the mouth of the Río Vélez has been welcomed by the town hall

Eugenio Cabezas / Jennie Rhodes

Vélez-Málaga

Tuesday, 12 March 2024, 20:32

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Vélez-Málaga town hall, on the eastern stretch of the Costa del Sol, has welcomed a proposal from local and environmental groups to create an ‘urban forest’ at the mouth of the River Veélez, between Torre del Mar and Almayate.

The proposal, initiated by Axarquía-based environment group, GENA-Ecologists in Action and supported by Sociedad de Amigos de la Cultura de Vélez and the Emergencia Climática Axarquía group, was presented to the town hall on Monday.

The petition, which was available to sign in a number of shops and other public places around the municipality, collected more than 1,650 signatures of support.

The area in question covers some 35 hectares south of the old N-340 coastal road and borders Torre del Mar to the east and Almayate to the west. It is home to up to 28 endangered species and is an area of enormous environmental importance. However, it is under constant threat due to intensive farming and the use of pesticides and plastics, as well as hunting and the accumulation of rubbish.

Botanical garden

GENA first proposed the idea of an urban forest in October 2023. Their plan includes wooded areas, ponds for birds, observatories, native and exotic trees resistant to climate change to create a botanical garden, pedestrian paths and dunes.

According to GENA this would create "a climatic refuge, essential in the scenario of climate change, as it would reduce the temperature, while providing a space for recreation, the generation of a biodiversity and the protection of the mouth of the river Vélez, a protected wetland where a great diversity of birds take refuge and reproduce".

According to GENA, the town hall “listened attentively” to the proposal and “the questions asked by politicians were answered”. They were also informed that this type of project, which is already included in the Vélez-Málaga Urban Agenda 2030, could be financed by the Next Generation European funds.

Furthermore the idea "could well fit into the proposal for a natural site agreed between the town hall and the Andalusian regional government, as exists in other parts of Andalucía", GENA said in a statement.

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