The Congress has admitted this Tuesday to process a specific law so that the Mar Menor has its own legal personality. The deputies will work on a tool to protect the lagoon promoted by a popular legislative initiative that gathered more than 640,000 signatures and was defended on March 15 in the parliamentary commission of Ecological Transition.
Mar Menor: profound history of a disaster
The vote in favor of the parliamentary groups except the extreme right of Vox – which has called the project a “Bolshevik experiment” and denies that human actions are “the main problem” – has endorsed the positions announced two weeks ago when the university professor Teresa Vicente explained to the parliamentarians the need to create a regulation that defends the most important salty coastal lagoon in Europe. The initiative has gone ahead with 274 votes in favor, 53 against and 6 abstentions. According to its promoters, legal personality would make this ecosystem go from being a “victim and object” to being a subject with rights.
The popular initiative contains an article by which the law would create mechanisms that prevent “urban, agricultural, livestock, mining or any other activities from damaging the lagoon.”
The ecological collapse that the Mar Menor has suffered has been caused, especially, by the intensive agricultural and livestock exploitation around it. The discharge of fertilizers for irrigation and waste from pig farms have ended up in the waters of the lagoon filtered through the ground and the adjoining aquifer. Illegal extraction of water and desalination without permission – whose brine waste has been dumped into the environment – have also put nails in the environmental coffin of this habitat.
In this sense, the text presented includes “that the actions and omissions that damage the Mar Menor can immediately be prosecuted, sanctioned and judged”, point out its promoters. The initiative contemplates three figures to safeguard that the rights of the natural space are fulfilled: a committee of representatives, a monitoring commission and an independent scientific committee.
The hope of the promoters is that their text does not change too much during the parliamentary procedures. Once this first stage is passed, the proposal must go through the process of analysis and possible amendments until it is definitively voted on and, where appropriate, approved by the Cortes.