A survey published today in El Pais suggests that there is a growing acceptance in Spanish society of the need to protect nature. Despite the economic crisis, the survey found that 60% of Spaniards would pay a tax to protect nature. 80% stated that they were “very” or “quite” worried about the state of Spain’s natural heritage, and 73% believed it was necessary to intervene to protect endangered animals. The survey was carried out by the Fundación Félix Rodríguez.
Some more results according to the study:
- 4 out of 10 Spaniards would be prepared to change their own consumer and leisure habits to help conserve the country’s natural heritage and biodiversity.
- 8 out of 10 are in favour of the promotion of “ecological” agriculture.
- Spanish people see a very strong connection between rural development and the conservation of biodiversity.
- 80% say that progress and development of rural areas will guarantee the conservation of nature and the protection of natural species, in addition to improving the life of people living in cities.
- Most believe that that the recovery of endangered species will help increase the value of rural areas. This is linked to the results showing that the abandonment of the countryside is seen as the third most important cause of loss of biodiversity (17%,) after pollution (28%) and building (30%) and ahead of climate change (16%).
- Because of this more than half of those interviewed (52%) said that they would prepared to pay a tax to promote development and progress in rural areas. However, society is more concerned by the negative consequences of environmental degradation than for nature in itself. People stated that the loss of species would affect them directly in terms of health (31%) and in terms of food quality (31%). Read in El Pais
The survey is line with the ideas promoted by the RUNA project of the Fundación Félix Rodríguez which in some capacity I hope to be involved with.
RUNA seeks to combine rural life with the natural world, and hand back the custody of the latter to the people who live in isolated rural areas, and who, by accident or design, over the centuries managed to foster such a rich biodiversity. This is to be a partnership between those who live and work in the rural world (farmers, hunters, foresters, etc) and those who work in natural history (biologists, wardens and environmentalists), turning biodiversity into an economic asset which can foster sustainable development and bring young people back.