The Cuna del Alma tourism project, in Tenerife, reaches the European Parliament after five months paralyzed

The project of Cuna del Alma, Promoted by two investment families from Belgium, Vandermarliere and Van Biervliet, it consists of the development of more than 430,000 square meters, together with two protected areas, to build hotels and 420 luxury villas (among other infrastructures). The works began in May 2022 and from minute one generated widespread rejection social and political.

The Canarian Government orders the precautionary stoppage of the works of the Cuna del Alma project, in the Puertito de Adeje

The Canarian Government orders the precautionary stoppage of the works of the Cuna del Alma project, in the Puertito de Adeje


The project already has two negative reports, the first in 2014 and another in 2017. It also has a sanction proposal by the General Directorate of Heritage of the Government of the Canary Islands for the destruction of the archaeological site.

On November 11, 2022, the Ministry of Ecological Transition ordered the precautionary stoppage of the works due to the “imminent threat of environmental damage” posed by the works on protected wild flora, after verifying the different complaints received by the Salvar La Tejita association. However, it was not until two months later, specifically on December 2, when the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage of the Canary Islands declared the total suspension of the works.

Wild flora

The precautionary stoppage order issued in November came after having verified that a population of the sad viborina lives on the land (sad echium) or tajinaste del cardonal, a species of flora that has the category of special protection within the Canary Islands Catalog of Protected Species of the Government of the Canary Islands.

The sad viper is an annual or perennial plant belonging to the group of herbaceous species. It has linear and hispid leaves and white or pale pink flowers with a narrow tube. Furthermore, his body is covered in hairs sharp This species, and six others according to the environmental groups that had denounced the project, did not appear in the environmental report that the promoters presented to the authorities, so the company has not obtained authorization to touch them or to move them to another place.

The group of people who had been camping next to the works since the beginning of the summer had alerted on different occasions not only the presence of this and other protected plants, but also that the works were damaging them. The Salvar La Tejita platform insisted for months that in the area where the works were being carried out there are also centenary cardones, gray cardoncillo, orijama and asparagus.

The construction company had initially claimed that it was unaware that there were viborine specimens or other protected species not included in the report. However, the Government of the Canary Islands verified shortly after that there is a population of snakes that must be protected and therefore ordered the work to stop.

Now the plant has been identified in the place not only by the volunteer scientists who have traveled to this enclave in the south of Tenerife, but also by the regional Biodiversity Service and the Agency for the Protection of the Natural Environment. In addition, as reported by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, there is – now yes – “a formal recognition from the company itself about the presence of this plant and the interference of the works with it.”

Claims by the promoter

Even before having news about the paralyzation order by the Cultural Heritage of the Government of the Canary Islands on December 2, 2022, the promoter of Cuna del Alma presented allegations against the resolution of the Ecological Transition Council to paralyze the works due to the appearance of the sad snake In her opinion, the decision of the Government of the Canary Islands was “manifestly disproportionate”.

The promoter claimed that the stoppage of 100% of the urbanization work was exaggerated and insisted that the specimens found “only affect 10% of said works.” In addition, they argued that the number of plants found presents “little relevance in relation to the number of existing specimens.”

Now, five months have passed since the stoppage was ordered and the latest statements by the promoter.

European Parliament

After several months, the environmental association Salvar La Tejita will defend in Brussels, on April 25 and 26, 2023, the petition to halt the Cuna del Alma project, a lawsuit that it filed before the European Union Petitions Commission .

In a statement, the group explains that a delegation will question the European body to intervene in the face of “irregularities” committed in the project in the Puertito de Adeje (Tenerife). To do this, he assures that an agenda of meetings with different MEPs and before the Environment Committee of the European Parliament has already been arranged.

According to the documentation provided by the environmental association, at least 3 European directives would be violated. The association recalls that, as reported by the Department of Ecological Transition on November 21, 2022, no environmental impact assessment was carried out for Sector 6 of the General Plan for the Management of Puertito de Adeje (Cuna del Alma).

In this sense, it points out that the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment/2013, which transposes the European directives (Directive 2001/42/EC; Directive 2011/92/UE), in its article 9 states that “the acts of adoption, approval or authorization of the plans, programs and projects that, being included in the scope of application of this law, have not been submitted to environmental evaluation.”

In addition, the association also indicates that the Habitats Directive 92/43/CEE would also have been violated by not having evaluated the effects of an urban project with a capacity for 3,600 new inhabitants on the contiguous area protected under the European figure of Red Natura 2000, the Teno-Rasca Marine Strip.

The environmental group will also be accompanied by representatives of Podemos Canarias. Specifically, Manolo Marrero Morales, spokesperson for the Sí Podemos Canarias Parliamentary Group, the activists María González Acosta (Salvar el Puertito) and José Manuel González Piedehierro (El Coqueluche Association), as well as Gabriel González, biologist, councilor for Podemos Adeje and secretary of civil society of Podemos Canarias. Invited by Idoia Villanueva, Podemos MEP.

In addition, several activists and representatives of Tenerife’s civil society will also travel to Brussels to meet with MEPs and representatives of the European Commission.

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