The Minister of Ecological Transition, Fight against Climate Change and Territorial Planning of the Government of the Canary Islands, José Antonio Valbuena, as a result of the latest information published on the draft of the Master Plan for the Use and Management of the Teide National Parkwanted to highlight the exemplary nature of the public participation process that has been carried out with this instrument, which is currently still open and has extended its deadline for submitting contributions.
“This Government takes the real and effective participation of citizens very seriously, to the point of not only extending the period of public exposure, as we did with the Climate Change and Biodiversity laws, but even holding specific meetings with groups and administrations. who have filed allegations through official channels. Only in this way have we achieved, among other milestones, that the Climate Change Law is the most participatory in the history of the islands, thanks to the more than 500 contributions that we managed to collect through face-to-face and telematic channels”, explained Valbuena.
The counselor stressed that it is a preliminary work document from which it will be based and that its final version “will surely be far from the original as it will be enriched with the contributions of the different groups, which are being sent in the period of public exhibition already through the work meetings that are already being held with entities and representatives from different sectors that have something to say about this PRUG”. In fact, Valbuena emphasized that the draft contains more than 60 pages and there are discrepancies in three specific sections that “are not the essence of the document.”
“This is a principle of participation and co-governance that we have internalized and that goes beyond the process of exposure to use to which we were accustomed in the processing of laws such as the land law, so we are not going to paralyze it in any case” , exposed the regional leader.
“We understand that certain political parties have an interest in stopping this public participation procedure, because it would mean reaching agreements with groups and citizens in general, reconciling the different needs of the Teide National Park, but in no case do we plan to dismantle the work already carried out and discard the numerous contributions that we have already managed to collect”, he insisted.
“The PRUG represents an important advance in the regulation and conservation of the Teide National Park, based on the protection of flora and fauna, the preservation of the archaeological heritage, the protection of the quality of the sky and the landscape, the promotion of research and eradication of invasive species, among other measures”, explained the counselor.
“Therefore, the only way that exists and in which we believe to reach agreements with the groups interested in the PRUG del Teide is this work format based on public exposure and the deployment of other active listening processes such as meetings and personal meetings. We rule out the paralysis of this process, since the only thing it would mean would be that the citizens cannot send us their contributions”, he asserted.
The counselor lamented some “interested criticism” that has been made in recent days about this process of public exposure that, in his opinion, “the only thing they hide is the fear that we reach agreements with groups and that, in this way, , let us settle the controversies that may arise in certain articles of the PRUG”.
One of these examples of understanding has been the meeting recently held by the Regional Deputy Minister for Ecological Transition, Miguel Ángel Pérez, with representatives of the audiovisual sector. “During this meeting we have insisted on the need to reach agreements when it comes to regulating this activity, collecting the contributions of professionals in this field and reaching meeting points, without losing sight of the principle of conservation and protection of the park,” he added. Valbuena.
Uses and prohibitions
On the other hand, the Minister wanted to emphasize that the PRUG does not include in its articles any prohibition for the transit of vehicles on the roads of this natural enclave. In fact, the draft states that “road circulation will be free for any vehicle in the national park, so the right of transit will be guaranteed for those who wish to use any of the TF-21 roads. TF-24 or TF-38”. In addition, the final definition of the sustainable mobility plan that is decided to apply in this environment is left in the hands of the Cabildo de Tenerife, as the competent administration.
“What is reflected in this draft are measures to encourage the use of public and sustainable transport that will be offered from the shuttles located outside the extension of the park,” he explained. These measures are based, mainly, on the regulation of the parking lots available in the park, and only in certain time slots of the day in which there is a greater influx of public and in which some incidents have been detected, such as the invasion of vehicles in unauthorized sections and even damage to the native flora of Teide.
“It is completely false that there is going to be a charge for access to the Teide National Park”, continued the counselor. In fact, section 5.3.1. of the PRUG states that “the free nature of access to the national park and to the basic services offered by the managing administration to the visitor will be maintained”.
In the same way, the practice of hiking, mountaineering, climbing, cycling or training for mountain races on Mount Teide is not prohibited. All these activities and other similar disciplines are regulated in the PRUG.
This plan does not contemplate the creation of any commercial area or large area in the Teide National Park. What they do contemplate are service areas where the vehicles will be parked on the outskirts of the park and from which the shuttles will depart. This approach is based on three locations: one in the Portillo area (outside the national park) and another two in Chío and Vilaflor, several kilometers from the park itself.