The Teide National Park has once again been the object of attacks on its extraordinary natural heritage. Several days of good weather and the massive presence of visitors have been enough for scenes that produce blush and indignation to be repeated. From a picnic and improvised soccer game near the Llano de Ucanca to New Year’s graffiti on the Izaña highway, which add to the accumulation of garbage in previous months on the peak of Teide. EL DÍA has collected the opinions of the insular councilor for Natural Environment and Security, Isabel García, and the defender of the island landscape, Jaime Coello, as well as the assessment of a political party, Coalición Canaria. They agree that more vigilance is needed in this protected area of 19,000 hectares.
“We must be aware that a National Park is not a recreational area”
The first episode of inappropriate behavior in the new year takes place last day 1. A group of people set up a camp with umbrellas and small igloo-type huts near the Llano de Ucanca. They even play soccer, activities that are prohibited in the protected area. The following day, the group Pasa sin Huella, born in March 2019 to denounce the attacks on the natural heritage, reports another chapter in a deterioration “that does not stop”: a graffiti on the limestone on the Izaña road. They value from the group that has made it “someone who is an enemy of natural heritage and our landscapes.” He concludes: “Much remains to be done in environmental education, civics and vigilance.”
“Never seen” public use.
The Councilor for Natural Environment Management of the Cabildo, Isabel García, underlines: “In recent days there has been a public use of natural spaces never seen before.” García affects the factors of a sunny Christmas and unusual high temperatures that have exerted as a knock-on effect. He acknowledges that to this is added “the shortage of surveillance personnel, something inherited from those who now cry out to heaven.” The lack is, above all, of Environmental agents, who can report, sanction or request documentation. There are only five for a 19,000 hectare National Park. The counselor clarifies that “in recent days, they have been reduced to three because one has had Covid and another is confined by direct contact.”
“I hope that this year many will take a step and take a position in favor of protecting nature”
García points out that “we have already asked the Government of the Canary Islands three times, which has the competencies in Human Resources and the List of Jobs (RPT), to triple the workforce to 15 and we are still waiting.” García highlights the task of the informants that the current government team “has strengthened in terms of mastering languages and environmental knowledge.” Four on the morning shift, two on the afternoon shift and, “for the first time,” he highlights, another two at night. The counselor relates: “They were the ones who discovered the camping in the Llano de Ucanca at three in the afternoon on January 1.” He adds that “the families, the Canary Islands, left without a problem and claimed that they were unaware that they were not complying with the norm.” García clarifies: “There were a lot of people and a lot of children.” Remember that “we promote the hiring of environmental agents for the entire Island.” The counselor emphasizes that “environmental education is key because a National Park is not a recreational area.” For this reason, he adds, “we program educational campaigns in schools.”
Regarding motor vehicles and bicycles, he explains: “With the 4×4 we have reached an agreement that is a model even outside the Island.” With the bikes, which accumulate on the road, he points out, “the problem is the speed on the descents and we look for a suitable point for that.” The motorcycles will have another place reserved in the future Motor Circuit. The counselor is more concerned about graffiti because “we cannot have a guard behind each person.” “People have to know the great value of the Teide National Park to respect and conserve it.”
Same as the previous year.
Jaime Coello is director of the Telesforo Bravo-Juan Coello Foundation and promoter of Pasa sin Huella. He considers that “the year begins the same as 2021 ended, with excessive, disproportionate and in many cases illegal use of protected natural areas.” “We are not surprised because not enough measures are taken to prevent vandalism and misuse and not enough resources are allocated to protect it.” Coello believes that “neither public administrations nor broad layers of society understand the need to take immediate action because they fear losing votes or do not know the value of what we lose.” “They put their leisure and leisure interests above the common good.” With regard to the merry-go-round in the Llano de Ucanca, remember that “it violates the Master Plan for Use and Management in force.” Coello hopes that “in 2022 many people will take a step forward and position themselves in favor of the protection of our nature.” “From the Foundation and Pasa sin imprint we are going to continue confronting anyone who damages it and reminding the public authorities that they must fulfill their powers and protect it.”
The CC-PNC group of the Cabildo has asked “to increase surveillance services on Teide to protect this natural space and avoid practices that endanger its conservation.” The nationalist formation considers it “necessary” to provide the National Park with “the human resources to develop the surveillance service” and points out that “in the last year, informants have been hired, but without the capacity to identify or report infractions. In other words, there are not enough guards to control ». They value: “We cannot allow events such as those that occur in a space visited each year by four million people and a World Heritage Site.”
A long history of nonsense
July 5, 2019
- Two German tourists enjoy a sardine board inside the Teide National Park with absolute impunity. The embers of the bonfire are discovered days later – it would have happened on the Night of San Juan – and reported on social networks.
September 7, 2020
In the heart of the Forest Crown
- Three people are caught making a bonfire in the heart of Corona Forestal. within the Teide National Park.
June 2, 2021
Bonfire on trail 18
- A group of mountain guides discover remains of a bonfire on trail number 18 of the Teide National Park.
October 27, 2021
Painted at 2,000 meters
- Someone goes up to the Teide National Park to paint a two-meter wall with graffiti. It is denounced by the Councilor for Natural Environment Management of the Cabildo on her social networks.