Friday, March 17, 2023
Together with member party Contigo Mas and candidate member Valores, we organized in Spain a conference on the European policies protecting surface and underground waters, by looking specifically at the case of Mar Menor in Murcia.
The intense farming in the region has led to nutrients-rich waters from the fields to spill into Mar Menor (a natural lagoon) where they cause an uncontrollable growth and expansion of algae which then acts as a suffocating “blanket” and deprives of oxygen the marine life under the surface. Many fish and other marine life end up dead on the shores. It is considered an ecological disaster.
The conference started with ECPM General Director- Maarten van de Fliert- bringing greetings on behalf of ECPM and reflecting on the Christian duty to care and protect the nature, since it is created by God and entrusted to us for stewardship.
Anja Haga, policy expert and consultant for ChristenUnie Netherlands, held a presentation about the EU policies governing water protection and the framework around intense farming and agriculture runoffs. She provided examples from the Netherlands on how these measures are approached.
Alfonso Galdon, president of Valores party and expert in environmental sciences, spoke about what is happening in Mar Menor and argued that the lack of coverage of this disaster is partly due to the lack of political will of the current leadership in Murcia. The lack of enforcement of European standards and fines were also mentioned as factors.
Jose Carlos Abellan wrapped up the event connecting the two previous keynote speeches by encouraging the audience to acknowledge the issues present in the Spanish society and to proactively engage in addressing them. He spoke also about the Contigo Mas ethics and principles in regards to nature and the society at large: integrity, sustainability and beauty. These three virtues are interdependent and, when given equal importance and effort, they produce a whole and healthy (social, political, natural) environment.
At the end of the conference, the two political parties in Spain- Contigo Mas and Valores- signed a coalition agreement for the upcoming Spanish local elections.