By Alfredo Jesús Escribano Sánchez
The strongholds of protected biodiversity, abundant in the Iberian Peninsula and the Spanish islands, are threatened due to the desire for economic growth that does not understand costs that are not economic and even economic costs in the medium and long term. The inability of thinking minds to seek and listen to alternative solutions to those that have traditionally brought benefits and jobs, exacerbate the problems they supposedly want to fight against.
Spain is one of the European areas with the greatest biodiversity and the largest area of natural spaces, however, this historical conservation seems to be on the tightrope due to a series of decisions that seek greater “development” and that will entail a series of ecological costs.
It seems that we need to catch up with the areas or countries that have already grown or that are more advanced, and we do not realize that these countries are changing their way of life, they are orienting their research and policies in another direction because they committed a series of failures, in an attempt to recover the irrecoverable, to go backwards. However, instead of learning, we are making the same mistakes that those countries have already suffered. In areas of protected areas, Special Bird Protection Zones, Natural Parks, National Parks, areas protected by the Natura Network (Spain has around 40% of the protected area), they want to implement facilities such as new highways, railway lines high speed, polluting industries such as refineries and thermal power plants, a voracious and uncontrolled urbanism that relocates the population (depopulating the center of cities and towns, increasing energy consumption), hydraulic works, airports and nuclear power plants and cemeteries. This is the territorial model to which we aspire, based on urban concentration, hypermobility and energy waste, like that of large cities.
Therefore, instead of benefiting from the fact that the costs were paid by others, learn from their mistakes and use the rise of the natural (hopefully not a fad) and our supposed minor development (which I would say is a development in another sense , by other means: tourism, nature, gastronomy, health and science in some branches) as a basis to improve our health, economy and our culture while maintaining biodiversity, it is intended to go "safe", that is, to what has given money traditionally.
It is a shame to think that the quality of the air that I breathe is going to be diminished by a series of facilities that, despite promising a promising future of jobs and that ensure that there will be no deterioration in environmental quality, are not a good solution to the perennial panorama of environmental crisis. I believe that another series of initiatives could be carried out taking advantage of this great cultural and natural heritage that exists in Spain.
Strategies such as ecological agriculture and livestock linked to agriculture or ecotourism, which in addition to being development, would be formed as important alternatives that allow the implementation of a profitable and sustainable economic activity (economically, socially and environmentally) that would allow the creation of jobs work (it has been seen that organic production requires more labor), providing solutions to the difficult problem of development and rural exodus, since it seems that the organic primary sector attracts more young people, since they can carry out their activity of self-managed and their role is dignified, because their activity reverts to benefits for society.
In this way, they can opt for a better standard of living (a fair price for their products, reducing the pressures exerted on them by industry and distribution), allowing them to be autonomous and more free, being able to plan their accounts and establish their sale prices. In addition, the satisfaction expressed by convinced organic producers is important, since for them, the profession is dignified, because they go from being mere food producers (a very dignified and vital issue in itself) to being conservatives of the environment, of the human health, the quality and safety of the food we eat and, furthermore, it is the guardian of local lines, cultures and traditional knowledge that, together with new agricultural techniques and knowledge, can be preserved; if not, they would be lost.
In addition to this, production outside the conventional model is a good option to avoid situations as detestable as those that happen in countries such as Latin America, where multinationals expel the peasants who have worked them for generations from the land, imposing their model of production, banishing and undermining the health and traditions of the producers, or in India, where a certain product ("whose name I don't want to remember") used to treat cotton, has ruined peoples and made their citizens sick.
Furthermore, I consider that the creation of these jobs is counterproductive to achieving the objectives of rural development policies, since these jobs will be easier to carry out and possibly better paid, but they will entail costs that are difficult to calculate (although high) and will cause a migration of the population (even more) towards more urbanized areas and the countryside will become even more depopulated, reducing the production of quality and safe food, linked to land, which make it possible to produce and at the same time conserve .
Our pastures, which need the hand of man and low livestock loads for their maintenance and conservation, will therefore be left "out in the open", as it was in this way that they evolved from the Mediterranean forest. This will mean a significant loss of biodiversity and culture, also increasing the need to acquire food in other areas, reducing the quality of our food and the benefits derived from the production methods that are carried out here, also reducing tourism and , with all this, the local economy.
It is really difficult, more and more, to be able to live in peace and enjoy quality air without feeling isolated in the solitude of the deserted towns. It does not seem easy to understand why they want to implement this type of "improvement" if they do not provide solutions other than economic in the short and medium term (in the long term we will spend all the money on health and in attempts to reconvert what was destroyed). It is easy to feel the strong hangover of the socioeconomic system, which insinuates you that in order to live in society with dignity and without being a dissident, you must be part of it or, if not, if you want to live in another way, it leaves you aside, along with the redoubts of idealists, as if they were plagued.
It is very sad that at this point people continue to think that ecology is an ideology, the concern of a very noisy few, and that they do not realize that it is a problem that affects everyone, that it is a science and a reality that basically It explains a natural balance on which we all depend, which affects society as a whole: in the security of obtaining food in quantity and quality, in health, in the economy and in culture. Even so, we continue to believe that we have a good standard of living, that ours is the welfare society, and that is what matters. A supposed well-being, because our society is sick, despite the fact that medicine allows to extend life expectancy. Agrotoxics, pseudonutrients, environmental pollution, the rhythm of life and, in short, the fruits of modern welfare society, are what cause the emergence of new diseases and their incidence at increasingly early ages. They are caused diseases, as one would say in veterinary medicine: "zootechnical diseases or" iatrogenic diseases ", that is, created by the same system, absurd and voluntary.
Alfredo Jesus Escribano Sánchez - Veterinarian and research fellow in organic farming. Spain