Holiday makers love to see blue flags flying over Canarian beaches as recognition of them meeting European Union standards of cleanliness. Councils love to pose as the flags are presented, a sign of the environmental concern they are showing in their area. Now a scathing report from Ecologistas En Accion has seen 36 black flags awarded for coastal areas permanently destroyed by pollution or buildings, and another 28 zones have been identified as under severe threat, unless urgent action is taken.
Ecologistas En Accion is a Spanish pressure group of 300 smaller environmental organisations, and in their latest annual report, Banderas Negras 2008, they have included their damming assessment of the Canary Islands. Spokesperson, Theo Oberhuber says the problems have got worse in the last 10 years. Ecologistas claim the the Canarian government have offered 3 urban amnesties over the last 10 years, allowing illegal coastal buildings to remain in place.
Encroachment of building developments and building on maritime and rustic land are identified as major threats to the future of coasts around all of the Canary Islands.