View of the Sierra Almijara from Nerja / e. cabezas

New sustainable development plan for the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama park foresees 20.5 million in investments

The document, which is valid indefinitely, seeks to strengthen the traditional production systems of the 13 villages of the Axarquía in Malaga province and Granada province and to promote activities that increase competitiveness and generate quality jobs

Eugenio Cabezas
EUGENIO CABEZAS

The regional government, the Junta de Andalucía, on Tuesday approved a new sustainable development plan for the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama natural park, along with separate plans for the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas in Jaén, and the Sierras Subbéticas in Cordoba.

Instead of the six-year duration of the previous sustainable development plans, the new plans will remain in force "indefinitely, but every year there will be a review of objectives and compliance," according to a statemnt released on Tuesday by the Andalusian government. It foresees 84.8 million euros in investments, with 20.5 million euros along being invested in the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama in Malaga and Granada.

The statement went on to say that the main objective of the new sustainable development plans is to "boost the economic and social structures while safeguarding the ecological stability of the territory, so as to make the economic development of the area compatible with the conservation of natural resources".

Generate 1,270 'green jobs'

The regional government estimates that the implementation of the three new sustainable development plans will generate around 1,270 “green jobs” and that they are adapted to the reality and needs of each area to promote the improvement and conservation of natural ecosystems, enhancing their environmental values.

The Junta went on to say that the plans are “tools that promote the involvement of local agents as the backbone of the protected areas, strengthening the participation of businesses and associations in the strategic decisions of sustainable planning for the parks.”

New economic activities

They also seek to strengthen traditional production systems and promote new economic activities including tourism, social cohesion, increasing competitiveness and generating quality training and employment, with particular emphasis on young people and women.

The Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama natural park, shared by the provinces of Malaga and Granada, celebrated its first two decades of existence in November 2019. It covers an area of 40,662 hectares in the Granada municipalities of Alhama de Granada, Arenas del Rey, Játar, Jayena and Otívar, and the Málaga municipalities of Alcaucín, Canillas de Aceituno, Canillas de Albaida, Cómpeta, Frigiliana, Nerja, Salares and Sedella, all in the Axarquía region.

The landscape is rugged and abrupt, with ridges and deep valleys, including the Río Verde canyon in the province of Granada and the Río Chíllar in Nerja. The Sierra Tejeda is the highest part of this mountain range, with Malaga province’s highest peak, La Maroma, reaching 2,068 metres above sea level.