Sunset in Santiago de la Ribera. Boats parked in the Mar Menor. Photo Credit: tpenalver/Getty Images

Environment Spain26. October 2022

Lagoon Gets “Personhood Status”, for Its Ultimate Protection

Europe’s largest salt-water lagoon located near Cartagena, Spain, will be in a better position to protect its rights and fend off projects deemed harmful to its health, thanks to the personhood status Spanish authorities have granted it.

“So that natural disasters like those that have occurred, so that the episodes of mortality of fauna of the Mar Menor don’t return, let’s give this ecosystem its own rights,” said Senator María Moreno before the vote.

Mar Menor lagoon has been granted the right “to exist as an ecosystem and to evolve naturally” and authorities recognize its right to protection, conservation, and restoration. This new law was adopted following a citizen-led push to protect adequately the fragile ecosystem. Some 600,000 citizens backed the initiative to grant personhood status to Mar Menor, which means that a group of caretakers – citizens, local officials, and scientists – will legally represent the lagoon to prevent it from further degradation. Overall, 1,600 square kilometers – including the lagoon which covers 135 square kilometers, and the nearby Mediterranean coastline – have been granted special protections. Mar Menor is home to many species of fish, seahorses, and the endangered European eel. Spain will invest $20 million to improve water treatment in nearby cities as part of a recovery plan. New Zealand was the first country to grant personhood status to an ecosystem – the Whanganui River – in 2017.

Euro News

:::::: Related Articles

Back to top button